I remember it like it was yesterday. We were in my kitchen after a brutal deadlift workout; our arms had no life left, our backs were sore and my friend Steve and I needed some post workout nutrition STAT!
“Yo, want a protein shake?” I asked.
“Yeah sure… but I’m not a fan”
“Why not? It’s quick and easy. Also, I’m pretty sure my body is physically incapable of cooking right now”
“Yeah but it always tastes like ass!”
“Bruh… what are you talking about? You need to try mine.”
As I proceeded to hand him a glass of my finest creation, I’ll never forget his facial expression as he said “What! How come mine don’t turn out like this?!”
At the time, Steve simply thought the culprit was the brand of powder he was using. While some brands are definitely better than others, I knew that wasn’t the case here. So I decided to dig a little further as to why his shakes reminded his tastebuds of someone’s rear end.
“How exactly are you making yours? Maybe you aren’t mixing it well or not using the right amount of water or milk”
“Nah man I am! I followed the instructions on the back to a T, and it still tastes like shit. Can’t stand it!”
I knew explaining wouldn’t work. And so to prove my point I asked him to bring over some of his “inferior” powder the next time we needed our protein fix.
Sure enough, he brought it over and I decided to go through my usual method of mixing it and handed him a glass.
“Dude, I fucking hate you! How do you pull off this sorcery?!”
“Haha see? I had a feeling you were just mixing it like an idiot. Fear not, let me show you the way…”
P.S – If you’d like to know the type of protein powder I personally buy and recommend to clients Click here
Here’s What I Taught Steve Many Years Ago
There are three secrets to making great tasting protein shakes and yes, they apply to all brands as long as they are the following type:
Protein from hemp, egg and other sources are something I haven’t tested extensively so what I’m about to teach might not apply.
Anyways, back to the three secrets. You can think of them as the minimum requirements. If they aren’t met, your tastebuds shall suffer the consequences. Let’s dive into each one.
Secret #1: Get The Right Tool For The Job
You can buy the highest quality powder in the world and mix it with the perfect amount of water, milk and even throw in some unicorn tears, but if you cannot mix the ingredients together properly then you’ll end up with a lumpy mess. So the first order of business is to get your hands on the best protein shaker in the world, and that is the Blender Bottle.
The secret is the whisk ball that it comes with. This allows you to mix everything up quickly and easily. I bought mine 5 years ago, and it’s still going strong (trust me, it’s been thoroughly abused).
And if you hate doing manual labor outside of the gym, then having an electric blender is crucial. Either way, get your hands on a one of these tools before moving on.
Secret #2: The Right Ingredients In The Right Amounts
I’m going to tell you right now that to make the perfect protein shake, you’ll have to sacrifice a few calories here and there. So if you’re anal about your macros to the decimal, then just know that my secrets aren’t OCD-friendly. Fortunately, you don’t have to be so strict. As long as 90-95% of your nutrition is on point, then a 5-10% margin of error won’t hinder your results. I promise you.
Here’s exactly what I use and how much
- 150 ml of water – filtered water simply tastes better, so try and get your hands on some.
- 150 ml of almond milk or skim milk – if going with almond milk, buy unflavored or match the flavor to your powder (Eg. vanilla-vanilla)
- 2 tbsp cream – 5% or 10%, your choice
- 2 Small Ice Cubes
Secret #3: The Order Of Mixing
You may think that just dumping everything in the bottle and mixing it hard is all that’s left to do.
Get this order wrong, and you’ll end up with clumps around your shaker cup (Note: if using an electric blender then this step can be skipped). Here’s how to add the things so you end up with awesomeness:
- Pour in the water
- Add scoop of protein
- Pour almond milk on top
- Throw in the cream & ice
- Take your whisk and press everything down as far as possible
- Screw on lid tightly then shake vigorously for 30 seconds straight.
If you did everything correctly, the ice cubes should have melted and you now hold in your hands the best tasting protein shake you’ve ever had in your life.
“The consistency is a little too thick for my tastes”
My measure of success when I came up with this method was to end up with a shake which had the consistency of chocolate milk. If that is too thick for you, the good news is that thinning is down is easy – just slowly add water until you end up with what you like.
“It’s too runny!”
Two reasons for this: You don’t know how to measure and totally added more than 150 ml of water or the scoop that comes in your protein tub is less than the standard 30g size. The only way to fix runny shakes is to add more powder. Try adding 1/4 scoops at a time till you end up with your desired consistency.
Does The Brand Of Protein Powder Really Matter?
As I stated before, 2/3rd of the time the powder itself isn’t to blame when it comes to taste. Ten years ago there were some truly awful products out in the market but in this day and age, most whey products are at least decent.
However, you do have to be careful because some brands simply don’t live up to the level of quality that I expect. Their powders have contaminants beyond acceptable limits, or sometimes lack the amount of protein listed on the label.
For this reason, my current go-to source is MyProtein. Their stuff has been lab tested and consistently comes out on top, and they have more flavors than you can shake a stick at. What’s more, if you use the code HARDCORETRAINING you can get a sweet discount.