Protein is the building block of muscle and an essential nutrient. It’s common for those seeking to build muscle to supplement their diet with protein drinks. Unfortunately, these are often expensive and lacking in flavor. Homemade high protein drinks fill the need for convenient, excellent tasting supplements that provide the required levels of protein at a lower cost than single-serving commercial products. This can be done by combining high protein ingredients with good tasting ones. For specific recipes, see the Additional Resources and Reference sections below.
High Protein Ingredients - Obviously, a high protein drink has to have protein in it, and high quality protein at that. While the vast majority of protein drinks use whey powder as the source of protein because it is easy to mix, there are many other options. Raw eggs are a popular choice, and can be dropped in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds to reduce salmonella risk if desired. Peanut butter provides as much protein as soy and is often less expensive. Also, dairy products like milk, heavy cream, and cottage cheese also have high protein content. Importantly, all these natural protein sources are high quality and relatively inexpensive.
Flavors - To your protein, you can add virtually anything that tastes good. Bananas have strong flavor and are often paired with peanut butter. In fact fruit is a very popular flavor with a wide range -- use berries of any kind (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), juice (such as pineapple, apple, or orange), or add a fruit flavored powder like a Gatorade or Tang. Chocolate is also a common flavor, and can be added through syrup, cocoa powder, or even chocolate ice-cream. Even more decadent shakes can include cookies, pudding mix, cereal, nuts, syrup, or flavor extracts (like vanilla or peppermint). See the "Superb Shakes" link in the Additional Resources section for some fantastic high protein drink recipes.
Low Carb - Not every weight trainer is interested in a low carbohydrate diet. After all, it takes calories to pump iron and maintain the anabolic state that builds muscle. But high protein intake is also important when trying to create definition by burning fat without losing muscle, and reducing empty calories can be critical at this stage. Clearly, the more simple recipes are more appropriate for this situation (forget the cookies and pudding), but this doesn't mean good taste has to be sacrificed. Fruit-flavored drinks taste good and have fewer calories. Sugar substitutes such as "Tastes Like Sugar" sweeten a drink without adding calories. There are also sugar-free powdered products that can be used for flavor.