It’s sort of an unwritten rule. If you want to make a high-protein, muscle-building smoothie palatable, you have to mix it with banana or peanut butter—and use chocolate-flavored protein powder, because you can’t trust other flavors to taste good (although, to be fair, some of the newer formulations are much improved). Still, the result is always the same—a boring, OK-tasting shake that doesn’t look very appetizing.
And then there’s the element of repetition: drink said smoothie two or three times a day, every day, and before long the mere sight of the thing makes your stomach turn.
It’s time to rewrite the rules. We racked our imaginations—and test-drank the results—and came up with more exotic, flavorful, and visually appealing options that offer nutrition that’s equal to or even greater than the standard-issue muscle shakes out there. Better yet, each takes only five minutes or less to make. See the recipes that follow and our instructions on when to blend them for the best results, and start mixing up shakes you and your muscles will both look forward to.