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5 Best Protein Smoothie Recipes for Stronger Muscles, Says Dietitian

Feel strong after a workout with these muscle-building sips!
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If you are trying to have stronger muscles, protein needs to be your best friend. While participating in muscle-building exercise is a must, including adequate protein in your diet can help you see those bulging biceps and defined calves.

While having a "once in a while" protein boost won't have a huge effect on your muscles, data shows that, over time, adequate protein may promote muscle growth and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals. Protein foods like meat, cheese, and tofu can be easily included in a healthy diet. But for people who live busy lifestyles, snacking on a home-cooked steak or a piece of grilled fish mid-day isn't a realistic thing to do.

Smoothies can be a perfect solution for the protein-craving crowd who needs a quick fix. As long as the right ingredients are included, a smoothie can be a rich source of protein along with other good-for-you ingredients. To enjoy a protein-packed smoothie, adding certain ingredients into the mix can help you get the macro that you need, including:

  • Nut butter
  • Greek yogurt
  • Silken tofu
  • Protein powder
  • Hemp or chia seeds

Tossing one of these ingredients into your blender along with some fruit, liquid, and possibly veggies can fuel your body with protein in a delicious and simple way. You can lean on your imagination to come up with your concoction of choice to create your protein smoothie for stronger muscles, or you can take one of these five protein smoothie recipes for a spin in your own blender.

Chocolate-Coconut Banana Smoothie

Chocolate coconut banana smoothie
Jason Donnelly

Sipping on a smoothie that tastes like the classic Almond Joy candy bar is hardly a sacrifice. And knowing that it's made with protein-packed Greek yogurt makes drinking this smoothie even more enticing.

Get our recipe for Chocolate-Coconut Banana Smoothies.

Chocolate Tofu Smoothie

chocolate tofu smoothie
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Tofu in a smoothie? Yes, you read that right. Adding tofu to your smoothie not only gives you important plant-based protein, but it also provides isoflavones—plant compounds that behave like a weaker estrogen. Plant isoflavones may help reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women, may reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol, and may reduce the risk of breast and uterine cancers.

Get our recipe for a Chocolate Tofu Smoothie.

Apple Pie Protein Smoothie

apple pie smoothie
Courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

If you like apple pie, you will love this smoothie. Made with real apples and classic spices, this cozy drink will certainly satisfy. A surprising addition of protein powder makes this smoothie totally appropriate for the muscle-building crowd.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.

Blueberry Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

blueberry peanut butter protein smoothie
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

With just five ingredients and natural protein sources like protein powder, this easy-to-make and totally delicious smoothie can be a perfect solution for people who need a protein fix ASAP.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Chocolate Protein Shake (Protein Powder-Free!)

protein powder-free chocolate protein shake
Courtesy of Minimalist Maker

Yes, you can make a protein-packed smoothie without leaning on protein powder. This smoothie uses natural sources of protein like hemp seeds, peanut butter, and chia seeds to create a protein-fueled drink that can support your muscle-building goals.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

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Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more about Lauren