What juice can I mix with protein powder?

Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement that can help people increase their protein intake. Many people like to mix protein powder into juices and smoothies to create a delicious, nutritious drink. But what juices pair best with protein powder? Here’s an overview of some of the most popular juice options for mixing with protein powder, along with recipes to help you get started.

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are a great option for mixing with protein powder. The natural sweetness of fruit juice can help balance out the sometimes chalky or bitter taste of protein powder. Some good fruit juice options include:

  • Orange juice – Freshly squeezed is best. The citrus flavor complements many protein powders.
  • Pineapple juice – Offers sweetness and tropical flavor. Pairs well with vanilla protein powder.
  • Apple juice – Tart and refreshing, apple juice mixes nicely with many light or neutral flavored protein powders.
  • Cranberry juice – Offer antioxidants. The tart flavor balances sweeter protein powders.
  • Grape juice – Sweet and tangy, it can cover up chalky protein taste.

Here’s a recipe for a tropical protein juice smoothie using pineapple juice:

Tropical Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. The pineapple juice provides vitamin C and bromelain enzymes along with the protein powder for a nutritious boost.

Vegetable Juices

For those who don’t have a sweet tooth, mixing protein powder with vegetable juices is a savory option. Some good choices include:

  • Carrot juice – Sweet but healthy, with beta-carotene.
  • Tomato juice – Savory and slightly tangy, tomatoes offer lycopene.
  • Beet juice – Earthy flavor with antioxidants like betalains.
  • Green juice – Blend of leafy greens like kale or spinach for added nutrients.

Here’s a recipe for a beet protein juice:

Beet Protein Power Juice

  • 1 cup beet juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. The beet juice gives you antioxidants and blood flow-boosting nitrates to pair with your protein.

Dairy-Based Juices

For an extra protein boost, mixing your protein powder with dairy-based juices is a smart move. Some good options include:

  • Almond milk – Works well with any flavor protein powder.
  • Coconut milk – Provides healthy fats and goes well with chocolate or vanilla protein.
  • Cow’s milk – An affordable option that provides calcium and vitamin D.
  • Soy milk – Offers protein, fiber, vitamins A and D.
  • Hemp milk – Contains omega-3s and has a mild, nutty taste.

Here’s a recipe for a mocha protein shake using cow’s milk and cocoa powder:

Mocha Protein Shake

  • 1 cup cow’s milk
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a blender until creamy and frothy. The milk provides extra protein and the cocoa powder gives you antioxidants.

Green Smoothies

For an extra serving of fruits and vegetables, green smoothies made with leafy greens are a healthy choice to mix with protein powder. Some leafy greens that work well in smoothies include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Romaine lettuce

Pair the greens with fruits like bananas, berries, mango, pineapple, or avocado for a tasty smoothie. The greens provide fiber, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and phytochemicals to complement the protein powder.

Here’s a recipe for a berry banana protein green smoothie:

Berry Banana Green Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. The spinach packs this smoothie full of nutrients to pair with the protein powder.

Herbal Teas

Protein powder can also be mixed into chilled or heated teas for a comforting protein drink. Some tea options to try include:

  • Green tea – Provides antioxidants like EGCG.
  • Black tea – Imparts bold flavor along with caffeine.
  • Chamomile tea – Has calming properties and a mild floral flavor.
  • Peppermint tea – Refreshes with its bright, minty flavor.
  • Hibiscus tea – Offers cranberry-like flavor and color.

Brew the tea first, allow it to cool, then mix in the protein powder using a blender bottle or immersion blender. The tea’s subtle flavors come through behind the protein for an aromatic drink.

Here’s an iced hibiscus protein tea recipe:

Iced Hibiscus Protein Tea

  • 3 hibiscus tea bags
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Honey or stevia to taste
  • Ice cubes

Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow tea to come to room temperature. Stir in protein powder until dissolved. Sweeten if desired. Pour over a glass filled with ice cubes. The hibiscus tea provides vitamin C.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a popular beverage to mix with protein powder due to its light, sweet flavor. A natural source of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, coconut water makes a great post-workout rehydration drink when combined with protein powder. It pairs well with tropical flavored protein powders like pineapple or mango.

Here’s a recipe for coconut water and protein powder:

Coconut Protein Recovery Drink

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • Pinch of sea salt

Stir or blend all ingredients together until combined. The coconut water and protein powder rehydrate the body after exercise while the pineapple and salt replenish electrolytes.

Vegetable Smoothies

You can also add protein powder to smoothies made with non-leafy vegetables for a dose of additional nutrients. Some good veggie options include:

  • Carrots – Provide vitamin A.
  • Sweet potatoes – Contain vitamin A, potassium.
  • Pumpkin – Offers vitamin A, fiber.
  • Beets – Supply nitrates, magnesium.
  • Broccoli – Contains vitamin C, calcium.

Blend the cooked vegetables with fruits, milk or yogurt, and protein powder for a filling and nutrient-dense meal replacement shake. The vegetables provide antioxidants, minerals and fiber along with the protein.

Here’s a recipe for a pumpkin pie protein smoothie using pumpkin puree:

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. The pumpkin provides extra fiber and vitamin A to complement the protein powder.

Protein Water

There are pre-made protein waters on the market that contain whey or plant-based protein powder already mixed into water for a quick, low-calorie protein drink option. Some popular brands include:

Brand Protein Source Flavors
Protein2o Whey protein isolate Fruit punch, lime, orange, lemonade, coconut
Premier Protein Clear Whey protein isolate Peach, wild berry, lemon, orange, apple cinnamon
Orgain Organic Protein Water Organic pea protein Berry pomegranate, citrus punch

These protein waters are very convenient but contain less protein than mixing the powder yourself, about 5-15 grams per bottle versus 20-30 grams per scoop. But they can be an on-the-go protein drink option.

High-Protein Juices and Smoothies

You can also mix protein powder into pre-made juices and smoothies that are higher in protein to enhance the protein content even more. Some good store-bought options include:

  • Oikos Pro Fuel High Protein Smoothies
  • Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus Smoothies
  • OWYN Vegan Protein Shakes
  • Naked Protein Machine Smoothies
  • Evolution Fresh Cold-Pressed Protein Smoothies

Check the nutrition labels and aim for at least 10-15 grams of protein per serving from the juice or smoothie itself before adding protein powder. Then you can add a scoop of protein powder to bump up the protein even more if desired.

Avoid Juicing Fruits and Vegetables Alone

One mistake some people make is trying to mix protein powder into straight fruit and vegetable juices made from juicing. The problem is that these types of juices contain very little fiber, since the insoluble fiber is removed during the juicing process. This can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar.

It’s better to mix protein powder into smoothies that maintain some fiber content from blended whole fruits and vegetables rather than straight juices. Or opt for whole fruit juices that retain some fiber like orange juice or apple juice over juiced extracts.

Benefits of Mixing Juice and Protein Powder

There are several benefits to combining juices with protein powder:

  • Increased protein intake – Adding a scoop of protein powder can help boost your daily protein needs for building muscle, losing weight, and keeping you full.
  • More nutrients – Pairing protein powder with juice gives you a wider range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants compared to protein shakes made with only water or milk.
  • Natural sweetness – Using fruit juices helps curb the sometimes chalky flavor of protein powder for a more palatable drink.
  • Hydration – The liquid from the juices or smoothies helps keep you hydrated, especially after exercise.
  • Convenience – It’s quick and easy to whip up a nutritious juice and protein drink on the go.

Tips for Mixing Protein Powder and Juice

Here are some helpful tips when combining protein powder with juices:

  • Use a blender, blender bottle, or immersion blender to thoroughly incorporate the protein powder.
  • Start with a liquid base of about 1 cup juice or smoothie. Add ice as needed.
  • Add 1-2 scoops protein powder depending on your protein needs.
  • Include healthy fats for satiety like nut butter, avocado, or coconut milk.
  • Blend frozen fruit to make smoothie-style “ice cream.”
  • Mix and match different juice flavors to find combinations you enjoy.
  • Drink protein juice blends within 1-2 days for best quality and freshness.

Potential Downsides of Protein Juice Drinks

While mixing protein and juice can be beneficial, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • Could be high in sugar if fruit juices are very sweet.
  • Some protein powders contain artificial sweeteners.
  • Added calories from high-calorie juices like orange juice or coconut milk.
  • Possible bloating or gas from plant proteins like whey.
  • Unbalanced nutrition if too much protein and not enough healthy fats or carbs.

To help avoid problems, read nutrition labels carefully, watch sugar content, and aim for a balanced ratio of protein, carbs, and fat in your drinks.


Mixing protein powder into juices, smoothies, and other beverages is a great way to increase your protein intake and nutritional value of your drinks. Fruit juices, vegetable smoothies, milks, teas, and coconut water all pair well with protein powder. Look for combos that appeal to your personal taste preferences. With endless flavor options, it’s easy to create custom protein-packed juices that help you meet your nutrition goals in a tasty way.

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