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7 Trainers Reveal Their Post-Pump Protein Shake Recipes

Focusing on your workouts and not your nutrition is a little like kicking the tires of your car without checking the gas tank.

Post-workout nutrition is an integral part of any workout routine. Eat the wrong thing and it can negate your hard work; eat the right thing, however, and you may just be able to slip into your favorite pair of jeans again. Many gym-goers turn to protein shakes for the right post-workout nutritional breakdown, but their convenience just barely outweighs the less-than-appetizing experience of tipping back that chalky, meh-flavored powder. Instead of slugging back your post-pump smoothie like a nasty shot of Pepto Bismol, why not just shake up something a bit more appealing?

We asked a group of top-notch personal trainers to reveal the recipes for their favorite recovery shake and had them explain what makes them so effective. Read on to check them out and whip some up yourself.

Cold Brew Muscle Fuel

source organic whey

Recipe courtesy of Albert R. Matheny IV, RD, CSCS, Co-Founder of SoHo Strength Lab

"I love this shake post workout because it has 21 grams of organic whey protein, is low in calories, tastes great, and gives me energy for the rest of my day. My workouts usually end right before a training session with a client, so I love that I can make this on the go and it gives me the nutrients I need for muscle recovery. Credit to my business partner and best friend, Ryan Hopkins, who turned me on to this shake!"


2 scoops Source Organic Whey
8 ounces Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee
8 ounces of Harmless Harvest Coconut Water (Matheny only adds this after workouts longer than one hour)


Mix all ingredients together in a blender bottle, until combined.

Sweet Potato Pie Protein Sipper

iso 100 protein powder cookies and cream
Recipe courtesy of Jim White, a personal trainer and registered dietitian based in Virginia Beach

"This smoothie is perfect for days when you can't sit down to a meal for hours post-workout. It's packed with complex carbohydrates, a serving of vegetables, vitamins A, C, E and K, plus a healthy dose of calcium and dietary fiber. The best part is, it can be mixed up right in a shaker bottle."


150 grams sweet potato, mashed
1 scoop ISO-100, Cookies & Cream
1 cup raw spinach
1/8 cup banana
1/4 cup frozen blackberries
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or water


Mix all ingredients together in a blender bottle until combined.

Chocolate-Banana Muscle Builder

optimum nutrition chocolate whey protein powder
Recipe courtesy of Victoria Viola, a New York City-based NSCA certified personal trainer and online fitness coach

"I affirmatively believe what's simple is what's sustainable. That's why I love this shake. It has everything I need post-pump and is easy to make. The branched-chain amino acids aid in muscle growth and mitigate muscle loss. I stick with a standard protein powder flavor like chocolate because it has the least amount of added sweeteners. A banana is also a delicious, nutrient-packed addition if you aren't mixing your shake on the go."


1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Milk Chocolate Whey
1 scoop branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) powder (5 grams if taken in capsule form)
1/2 a small banana
1 cup water


If adding in a banana, combine and mix in a blender for 30 seconds, or until smooth. If you're making the recipe without it, mix all ingredients together in a blender bottle until combined.

Walnut-Pineapple Workout Replenisher

so delicious greek style coconut milk plain yogurt
Recipe courtesy of Dr. Sean M. Wells, physical therapist and personal trainer, owner of Naples Personal Training

"This smoothie packs a punch of plant-based protein (almost 20 grams!), provides replenishing electrolytes, and restores essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health. You can easily make this smoothie mix in bulk, freeze it, and drink the desired amount each day."


2 tablespoons walnuts
1/2 cup organic black beans
1/2 cup organic baby spinach
2/3 cup So Delicious Greek Style Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 banana
1 cup assorted berries
1-2 cups coconut water (depending on desired consistency)


Combine and mix in a blender for 30 seconds, or until smooth.

The Cherry Power Booster

bcaa power amino acids drink mix fruit punch
Recipe courtesy of Alexander E.K., Founder of New York City-based private training studio, P.E.P.P.E.R.

"This shake is packed with protein and simple carbs that increase protein synthesis, fuel recovery and promote muscle growth. The tart cherry juice also helps tame inflammation brought on by post-workout muscle soreness."


2 scoops strawberry whey protein
1 scoop Labrada BCAA Power Amino Acids Drink Mix, Fruit Punch
1 scoop Iron-Tek Essential Glutamine Powder, flavorless
1 tablespoon tart cherry juice


Mix all ingredients together in a blender bottle, until combined.

Nectar of the Gods

peanut butter and spoon
Recipe courtesy of Rob Sulaver, C.S.C.S., founder and CEO of Bandana Training

"The key to a delicious post-workout shake is frozen bananas. I get a bushel of bananas on Sunday, skin 'em, cut 'em up into small pieces and freeze them for the week. This is the difference between chunky water and a culinary masterpiece. Your training, goals and progress will dictated how you personalize this recipe. If you're trying to get lean, use unsweetened almond milk and nix the peanut butter. If you're into mouth explosions, stick with the ingredients listed below. It has 44.5 g protein, 19.5 g fat, 55 g carbs, and 524 calories"


1 scoop of 100% all natural whey
1 cup frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup almond milk
1 generous spoon of peanut butter


Combine and mix in a blender for 30 seconds, or until just smooth.

Minardi Coconut Meat Power Smoothie

sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
Recipe courtesy of Jimmy Minardi, founder of Minardi Training, and Minardi Training nutritional health coach, Emily Littlefield of Emily's Powerfoods Living

"This smoothie replenishes glycogen stores after an intense workout. The protein assists with muscle repair, the coconut water helps to restore fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat and the blueberries are high in antioxidants," says Minardi.


1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup 100% raw coconut water
½ cup Exotic Superfoods Young Thai Coconut Meat, thawed
1 scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder
¼ cup goji berries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ice


Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until creamy.

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh