How to Make a Protein Shake without a Blender

smoothie made of banana, strawberry and pineapple
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Protein shakes can help you start the day, manage your weight or recover from a workout. With just a few ingredients and a good blender, athletes and nutrition-conscious consumers can whip up an endless number of smoothies. But a blender isn't always easily accessible. If you're traveling, pressed for time or want to cut down on cleanup time in the kitchen, you need to know how to make a protein shake without a blender. These beverages can be made easily by mixing the ingredients together in a handheld shaker, although it helps if you have the right equipment on hand and combine the ingredients in the right order.

Invest in a Blender Bottle

The easiest way to hand shake a smoothie is with a blender or shaker bottle. These handheld bottles are designed specifically for shaking smoothies and protein shakes. Some of these bottles have small, wire whisks that are included to help combine the ingredients as they are shaken. These bottles also are designed with tight-sealing lids and grips that make them easy to hold and shake. Most blender bottles are lightweight and portable while accommodating 20 to 24 ounces of beverage. Once you know how to make a protein shake without a blender and get comfortable with the process, you may also use wide jar with a sealable lid to shake and blend smoothies.

Carefully Choose Ingredients

Protein shakes usually have three core ingredients: a liquid such as milk, soy milk, almond milk, fruit juice or yogurt; a base of vegetables and/or fruit; a cooling ingredient such as ice or frozen fruit. It's important to pour the liquid ingredients in first, particularly when blending a protein shake by hand in a blender bottle. Starting with the liquids makes the entire shake easier to blend. Mashing fruits and vegetables before adding them into the shake also speeds up the mixing process.

As you experiment with how to make a protein shake without a blender, you'll find there are a number of other ingredients that can be added. Athletes looking to increase the amount of protein in the shake may add in nut butters or cottage cheese. For a sweeter shake, a mashed banana, berries or diced apple make a nice addition. Other ingredients that can be used to customize the flavor of a hand-blended protein shake include honey, maple syrup and applesauce. Adding pinches of spices like ginger, cayenne, cinnamon and cardamom will boost flavor while helping with digestion.

Get to Know Protein Powder

Although protein can be derived from many natural foods, a number of shake recipes call for the use of protein powder. Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement that comes in various forms. Whey, soy and pea protein are among the various types of protein that can be purchased in powder form and incorporated into recipes. Athletes and individuals who don't otherwise have enough protein in their diets may turn to powders as a supplement. Protein plays a number of important roles in the body. It promotes muscle growth and repair, tames the appetite and boosts metabolism and energy levels.

Figure Out What You Want Out of a Protein Shake

Protein shakes can be used to satisfy a variety of health and nutritional needs. Protein shakes for detoxifying, sports performance and body shaping are among the more common types of shakes that can be blended. Other protein shakes are designed to boost your immunity and tackle a range of other health and beauty issues. Once you know how to make a protein shake without a blender, you'll find that there are numerous ways that shakes can be used to support a healthy lifestyle.

Detox Shake

green smoothie

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Detoxifying protein shakes are a great way to keep your body clean and healthy. They boost energy levels, promote gut health and infuse your body with vitamins and nutrients that fortify your skin, nails and hair. Detoxifying shakes usually incorporate a leafy green vegetable like kale, chard, spinach or celery, as well as a fruit to introduce fiber. Green tea and wheatgrass also are common ingredients. In most detoxifying shakes, the greens make up 30 to 40 percent of the smoothie and the fruit makes up the rest. Those who are new to detoxifying smoothies may want to start by adding greens on the lower end of that range and increase the amount as your tastes adapt.

Making Your First Detox Shake

If you're looking for a quick and easy detoxifying protein shake recipe to get you started, try combining one cup of chilled almond milk with two cups of shredded spinach, two cups of shredded kale, one tablespoon of protein powder, a finely chopped and cored green apple and a handful of chipped ice. Shake vigorously in a blending cup for about 15 seconds, then customize the shake to your liking with a tablespoon of chia seeds, honey or grated fresh ginger. Then shake vigorously again.

Pro Tip

When blending a detoxifying protein shake in a hand-held shaker, it's a good idea to cut or shred the greens as much as possible before adding them. Firm fruits like apples should be diced as finely as possible.

Sports Performance Shake

woman in red tank top drinking from protein-shake bottle

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Sports performance smoothies usually are consumed by athletes after they finish a workout when the body is especially ready for nutrients. These shakes help reduce fatigue and encourage the body and its muscles to begin recovery. Sports performance smoothies are high in protein, which promotes the growth and repair of muscles. These protein shakes also are loaded with minerals such as potassium and magnesium that boost the body's recovery and function. Athletes who consistently consume a post-workout shake often see their workouts and athletic performance improve over time.

Making Your First Sports Performance Shake

A good sports performance protein shake to start with involves two cups of almond milk, a handful of chipped ice, two tablespoons of protein powder, one cup of mashed blueberries and one teaspoon of tahini. Shake vigorously in a blending cup for about 15 seconds and then customize the beverage to your liking with the addition of a pinch of cinnamon or a small amount of honey. Shake vigorously again. Once you learn how to make a protein shake without a blender and begin experimenting with recipes, you'll find that the combinations of ingredients are endless.

Pro Tip

If you use frozen blueberries that are still icy, you will not need as much chipped ice. Also, try not to load up on too much sugar in your protein shakes as this will begin to erode the nutritional value of the beverage. Fresh fruit and berries almost are always the best options when it comes to sweeter ingredients. If you want more sweetness, try adding just a couple drops of honey or stevia.

Body Shaping Shake

lady biker drinking protein shake

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Body shaping protein shakes often serve as a meal replacement for individuals who are actively trying to lose or manage their weight. Once you learn how to make a protein shake and you start blending body shaping smoothies, you'll find that they also are useful as an afternoon snack that satisfies your hunger and helps you keep away from the office vending machine. These protein shakes are high in protein, antioxidants and fiber. They torch body fat, keep lean muscles strong and support a healthy metabolism. Protein is one of the key elements in a body shaping smoothie because protein helps satisfy your hunger and curb your munchies. Protein also helps keep your energy level up.

Making Your First Body Shaping Shake

A good body shaping protein shake to get started with involves combining one-half cup of coconut water with a banana, one-half cup of frozen strawberries or blueberries, one tablespoon of protein powder and a quarter cup of vanilla or plain yogurt. Shake these ingredients vigorously for about 15 seconds in your blender bottle. If the smoothie is too thick, add additional coconut water. Now that you know how to make a protein shake without a blender, experiment with these ingredients and customize the recipe to your liking. Keep in mind, though, that increasing the number of ingredients does not always result in a better-tasting protein shake.

Pro Tip

Mash the banana and the frozen strawberries before adding them so that the shake is easy to mix.


Once you learn how to make a protein shake without a blender, there is no reason why shakes can't be a regular part of your diet. Protein shakes help to boost your intake of fruits and vegetables as well as protein. Balanced shakes that contain carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat also work well as a meal replacement or a mid-afternoon snack. And, because they are quick and easy to make, especially once you know how to make a protein shake without a blender, these beverages will quickly become an important tool in your quest for better health. Improved digestion, healthy bones and a strong immune system are just a few of the benefits you will enjoy as a result of protein shakes.


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