Precision Nutrition's Super Shake Guide

Today’s “big idea”: Turn Your Protein Shake Into A Super Shake

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How to use liquid nutrition

Here’s one of the secrets to good nutrition: Not all of your meals have to be food meals.

In fact, you can even replace one to two meals each day with easy to make, tasty little drinks we call Super Shakes.

Now, we know that there are tons of stores and juice bars springing up all over, offering smoothies.  However, store bought and juice bar type shakes are usually barely better than fast food milk shakes.  They’re typically sweetened heavily with sugar, loaded with poor protein sources, full of dairy, and missing many nutrients found in whole foods.

The Super Shake, on the other hand, is packed with good stuff like high-quality protein, fiber, good fats, antioxidants and more. Translation:  Super Shakes are da bomb.

That’s right, Super Shakes don’t just stand in for whole foods when times are tough.  They can actually be superior to most of the meals your neighbors are eating.  They’re are quick, easy, and high quality.  And you can use them as a snack, dessert, breakfast, etc.  (Uh, the shakes, not your neighbors).

But you have to do them right.  And that’s where this guide comes in.

Get a good blender

Before you start experimenting with our step by step guide, here’s a question for you.  Do you have a decent blender?  If not, and you want to start making Super Shakes, you’re going to have to go get one.  And remember, you get what you pay for.

That’s right, if your blender starts smoking when you add a few ice cubes, it’s time for a replacement, one that’s more powerful and ready for the task at hand.  And while you’re at it, why not splurge and get a nice-looking one too.  If you’re embarrassed by your blender and you keep it on the top shelf, tucked behind the cake pan, even with the best of intentions, you’re not going to use it.

Recommendations?  Sure.

For every-day use, I like the Magic Bullet It’s only 50 bucks and it’s quite powerful.  The only issue is that it’s small.  So if you want bigger Super Shakes you’ll have to go bigger with your blender.  In which case you might choose the Vita Mix.  This is the Mercedes Benz of blenders.  It’s pricey.  But I’ve never seen another blender match its power and longevity.

Making your shake super

Ok, so let’s assume you’ve got your blender out and it’s powerful enough to do the job.  Now you can follow the step by step guide below for creating nutritious and tasty Super Shakes.

Keep in mind, not all of the steps below are mandatory.  If you don’t want any fruit, leave it out.  If you are using almond milk and don’t want to add extra nuts, leave them out.  (Of course, if you’re looking to control your calories, carbs, or fats, use smaller portion sizes or cut out certain ingredients.) You get the idea.

In the end, we selected some of the fruits, vegetables and proteins that seem to work best for our clients.  However, our list isn’t exhaustive.   Feel free to branch out.  But for optimal mixing, flavor and consistency, follow the steps in order.   In other words, add your ingredients in the order listed.  Just go through each step and select an item (or two) from each column.  Mix and match as you like.  You’ll end up finding combinations you prefer the most.

Step 1:

Start with ice

  • Use 1-4 cubes for a thin, chilled shake
  • Use 5-10 cubes for thicker, pudding-like consistency shake

Step 2:

Pick a fruit

  • Frozen banana
  • Frozen berries
  • Dates
  • Pineapple / mango
  • Powdered fruit supplement

Frozen bananas give an excellent consistency. Using half of a banana is usually enough. Dates are very sweet. Make sure to get rid of the pit first.

Step 3:

Pick a veggie

  • Dark leafy greens: Kale / Swiss chard / spinach (stems optional)
  • Pumpkin / sweet potato
  • Beets / beet greens
  • Cucumber / celery
  • Powdered greens supplement

Canned pumpkin is great. It goes well with vanilla. When using beets, try roasting and removing the skin first. Beets go well with chocolate. If you add celery / cucumber, make sure to adjust the amount of liquid you add.

Step 4:

Pick a protein powder

  • Whey protein
  • Rice protein
  • Pea protein
  • Hemp protein
  • Other proteins or protein blend

Some protein powders have thickeners added. This will increase the thickness of your shake. Find the protein supplement that you digest well and enjoy the taste of.

Step 5:

Pick a nut / seed

  • Walnuts
  • Flax, hemp, chia seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Nut butter

Nuts and seeds give the shake an excellent consistency. A handful is usually enough.

Step 6:

Pick a liquid

  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Soy milk (unsweetened)
  • Hemp milk (unsweetened)
  • Iced green tea
  • Water

Less liquid = thick shakes. More liquid = thin shakes. Adding liquid at the end of the process can improve how the shake initially blends.

Step 7:

Pick a topper

  • Coconut
  • Cacao nibs, dark chocolate
  • Pomegranate seeds, goji berries
  • Oats, granola
  • Cinnamon

A little goes a long way.Cinnamon is good with vanilla and pumpkin.

So, how about an example?  Here’s one of my favorites.

  • Step 1: 5 ice cubes
  • Step 2: 1/2 frozen banana & 2 pitted dates
  • Step 3: 2 kale leaves & 1 tsp of powdered greens supplement
  • Step 4: 2 scoops of plain pea protein powder
  • Step 5: Handful of walnuts
  • Step 6: Water (just enough for it to mix)
  • Step 7: Top with a few sprinkles of coconut
  • Step 8: Drink.  Feel smug about getting more nutrition than most people get in one week.

There you have it, a template for creating awesome Super Shakes, every time.

Eat, move, and live…better.

The health and fitness world can sometimes be a confusing place. But it doesn’t have to be!



-Ryan Anderson, Precision Nutrition