10 Best Post Workout Shakes Tested in-depth

0

You’ve just run until your lungs burned. Your legs are screaming for mercy. Sweat is dripping down your face. What does your body need after such a tough workout? It needs to refuel. One of the most convenient ways to replenish your body after an intense workout is with a post workout shake. There are many varieties of post workout shakes out there, but they all have the same goal in mind: to give your body the nutrition to repair itself and regain energy after strenuous exercise.

Last Updated: April 16, 2017

As an important topic to many runners, we have updated this buying guide with a whole bunch of helpful information, just below our new list of the top picks for runners.

We have also done even more research, and added a great set of frequently asked questions near the bottom of the page.

PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein
  • PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 19g Protein
  • Lactose Free
  • Gluten Free
  • GMO Free
  • Price: See Here
FitPro! Go
  • FitPro! Go
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 35g Protein
  • Lactose-Free
  • 18 Vitamins/Minerals
  • 200 calories
  • Price: See Here
Bolthouse Farms Plus
  • Bolthouse Farms Plus
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 64g Protein
  • 170-210 Calories (Flavor)
  • 5g Fat
  • 25g Carbohydrates
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Post Workout Shakes

 

1. PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein

1. PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein
PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein is a high-quality, vegan post workout shake that gives you 18-19 grams of plant based protein depending on the particular flavor you choose.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
This post workout shake by PlantFusion gives you 18 grams of plant-based protein from quinoa, amaranth, peas, and artichoke! These shakes contain no aspartame or preservatives and are also lactose-free, gluten-free, and GMO free.

Taste
PlantFusion ready to drink post workout shakes are available in vanilla and chocolate. Users report these shakes as having a great taste, and do not miss the manufactured protein taste one bit.

Value
These post workout shakes are about the average price of other post workout shakes.
Pros
  • All natural protein
  • Great taste
Cons
  • Only two flavors

2. FitPro Go!

2. FitPro Go!
FitPro Go! is a magical, milk-based drink that is lactose-free (yes… milk-based AND lactose-free) because of a specially developed ultra-filtration process. FitPro Go! comes in four dessert-like flavors.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
FitPro contains 35gs of protein and is gluten- and lactose-free, kosher, and contains 18 vitamins & minerals. These post-workout shakes are sweetened with organic stevia. The four flavors of FitPro Go! have an average of 3 grams of fat, 200 calories, and 10 grams of carbohydrates, providing all of the good stuff your body needs to refuel post-workout.

Taste
FitPro Go! is available is four dessert-themed flavors which are: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate chip cookie. Users rate their favorite flavors as either chocolate or vanilla. Users rave about the lack of manufactured protein taste because of the all natural ingredients that make up this post-workout shake.

Value
This post workout shake, with all of its goodness, does come with a price. It is a bit more expensive than other RTD post workout shakes.
Pros
  • Lactose free
  • Natural ingredients
  • Delicious flavors
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Milk base may still be an issue for some users

3. Pure Protein 35

3. Pure Protein 35
One can of the Pure Protein 35 post-workout shake has (you guessed it) 35 grams of protein. The shakes are one of the least expensive ready-to-drink post-workout shakes, so you are getting a good bang for your buck.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
Not only do these shakes have 35 grams of protein, they also have only 2 grams of carbs, loads of calcium, and only 1 gram of fat. The protein in these post-workout shakes is a combination of milk and casein proteins.

Taste
Users report loving the taste of all of the flavors of Pure Protein 35 shakes. These post-workout shakes are available in chocolate, banana, cookies and cream, strawberry, and vanilla cream flavors. One user even recommended pouring the vanilla cream flavor over cereal or oatmeal!

Value
Much less expensive than your average ready-to-drink post workout shake
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • High in protein
  • Blended protein types
Cons
  • May contain too much protein or calories for some diets
  • May be too low in carbs 

4. Orgain Organic Nutritional-Shakes

4. Orgain Organic Nutritional-Shakes
Orgain Organic Nutritional-Shakes is the first shake, which is ready to drink,and is doctor-developed. Its purely certified organic, non-GMO, and is gluten-free. It comes in four flavors, so you are sure to find one that satisfies your cravings.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
In addition to being organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO, Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake is a great post workout choice, because it packs in 16gs of organic plant protein, 21 vitamins & minerals, is high in fiber and has added organic fruits and veggies. Plus, all four flavors have less than 260 calories, which will refuel you after a tough workout without attacking your waistline.

Taste
The four flavors available in the Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake line are Strawberries, Fudge which is Creamy Chocolate, Bean Sweet Vanilla, Cream and IcedCafé Mocha. Users of these shakes brag about how delicious the flavors are, even saying that the Sweet Vanilla Bean tastes just like ice cream.

Value
These shakes are a little more expensive than other post workout shakes, mainly because organic ingredients generally a little more expensive.
Pros
  • Organic
  • Doctor-developed
  • Great taste reported by users
Cons
  • Expensive

5. Met-Rx RTD 51

5. Met-Rx RTD 51
This post-workout shake packs the most protein by far - a whopping 51 grams! This shake will definitely give your muscles what they crave to rebuild and repair.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
In addition to 51 grams of protein, this post-workout shake is low in fat, has less than 300 calories, and is full of good-for-you nutrients like amino acids and BCAAs. The proteins in RTD51 are a combination of whey protein and casein protein, which means that the proteins take longer to break down, offering extended muscle support.

Taste
Users report that the chocolate flavor is better than the vanilla flavor, and that overall these post-workout shakes are extremely thick and become hard to drink if you don’t drink them quickly. Users also reported feeling like there was a coating covering their mouths after drinking this shake.

Value
Even though they have an above-average amount of protein for a ready-to-drink post workout shake, they still have an average price.
Pros
  • Most protein in a ready-to-drink shake
  • Average price
Cons
  • Can be so thick they are hard to drink
  • Leave a coating inside of your mouth after drinking

6. CalNaturale Svelte

6. CalNaturale Svelte
Available in five flavors, the CalNaturale Svelte protein shake provides an organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher way for you to refuel after a long run.
Expand to see more
Nutrition Content
With 260 calories, 16 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber, the CalNaturale Svelte protein shake is off to a good start. Add to it a soy milk base, 8 vitamins and minerals, 35% of your RDV for calcium and 30% of your daily value for Vitamin D, this shake will definitely give you a healthy recharge post workout.

Taste
CalNaturale Svelte is available in chocolate, French vanilla, cappuccino, banana crème, and spiced chai varieties. They are lightly sweetened with Stevia to make them extra tasty. According to users, these shakes have a satisfying taste and texture, are best when refrigerated, and many find cappuccino to be their favorite.

Value
These are a little less expensive than your average post workout shake.
Pros
  • High in fiber and calcium
  • Naturally sweetened
Cons
  • Refrigeration required

7. FRS Healthy Protein

7. FRS Healthy Protein
FRS Healthy Protein is a whey protein-based post-workout shake that comes in two flavors, each with 25 grams of protein.
Expand to see more
Nutrition Content
FRS Healthy protein has only 190 calories per bottle, making it one of the lowest-calories protein shakes. It offers 25 grams of protein, plant-based antioxidants, and is sweetened naturally with stevia and grape juice concentrate. This post-workout shake also contains 7 grams of the prebiotic fiber called inulin, which helps your stomach produce healthy bacteria.

Taste
FRS Healthy Protein is available in orange cream and blackberry acai flavors. This post-workout drink is more like juice, so it can be consumed much more quickly than protein shakes. Users report that these must be chilled before drinking or the flavor is not appealing.

Value
Average cost for a ready-to-drink post workout shake.
Pros
  • Contain prebiotics
  • Low calorie
Cons
  • Must be refrigerated or will taste bad

8. OhYeah!

8. OhYeah!
The OhYeah! ready-to-drink post-workout shake packs in 32 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbs per bottle. It is available in 5 flavors.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
This shake is high in protein, low in carbs, but also high in fat compared to other protein shakes. It has 9 grams of fat, which may not fit into some users diet regimes. OhYeah! shakes are lactose-free and contain only 3 grams of sugar. Users also report that this shake is very filling.

Taste
OhYeah! Shakes are available in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies and cream, and banana flavors. Users report enjoying all of the flavors, but highest reviews have been for the chocolate and cookies and cream flavors. Users also report these shakes having a milkshake-like consistency, but if they are not well shaken prior to drinking, the protein can be lumpy.

Value
These cost about the average for a shelf-stable post workout shake.
Pros
  • Very filling
  • Low in sugar
Cons
  • High in fat

9. Odwalla Super Protein

9. Odwalla Super Protein
Odwalla Super Protein is a tropical-flavored, soy-protein post-workout shake make with natural ingredients. It packs in 19 grams of protein for your post-workout fix.
Expand to see more
Nutritonal Content
Odwalla Super Protein is one of the few post-workout shakes that contain real fruit, including apples, banana, and orange. The combination of protein and fruit, however, does result in a high calorie content. Odwalla Super Protein has 350 calories per bottle. These shakes are also vegan, gluten-free, and have some non-GMO ingredients.

Taste
Users report that these shakes do have a slightly tropical taste, but aren’t as flavorful as they would expect. They also report the shakes being thick and sometimes having a powdery or chalky consistency.

Value
These shakes cost about the same as other refrigerated post workout shakes you will find in your grocer's produce section.
Pros
  • Real fruit
  • Vegan and gluten-free
Cons
  • High calorie content

10. Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus

10. Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus
Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus is available is 7 flavors, so you are definitely going to find one that tickles your fancy. Each shake contains 4 servings, 16 grams of protein per serving to refuel your body post-workout.
Expand to see more
Nutritional Content
An 8 ounce serving of a Protein Plus shake will have somewhere between 170-210 calories, depending on the flavor you choose. Per serving, in addition to the 16 grams of protein, these shakes also have an average of 5 grams of fat and 25 grams of carbohydrates, plus loads of vitamins and minerals. However, these shakes are high in sugar. Each has approximately 56 grams of sugar!

Taste
Users report these shakes as being extremely sweet. However, they did enjoy the smooth texture.

Value
These are a lower cost post workout shake that can be found at most grocery stores.
Pros
  • Widely available
  • Good flavor
  • Contain real fruit
Cons
  • Extra high sugar content
  • May contain too many carbs for some users

Criteria for picking the Best Post Workout Shakes

Post work out shakes were known to be used by only those involved in hardcore weight lifting and possibly pro sportsmen and women. But then things have changed over the years and the market of sports supplement has boomed so much that the supplements are available for use by everyone. Protein powder is able to provide the body with large amounts of protein nutrients that the body needs as part of its balance diet. Once the protein has been consumed, its digested into the body and the protein is then broken down into various amino acids. The amino acids then built into new proteins to help the red blood cells in the body and also build the muscles and contribute to other functions of the body. For any runner or a sportsman or sportswomen it’s very important to have a post work out milkshake after any exercise as this helps the muscles to recover and grow.

While picking out the top 10 best post work out shakes we considered the following things:

Quality of the Post Work Out Shake

Always give attention to the quality as this will determine how you achieve your workout goals. It is  better to pay extra for a  supplement which is natural and pure. Its highly recommended that you always read the label, before choosing a post workout shake, to be certain that it doesn’t contain too many ingredients. While looking at the ingredients it’s good to counter check and see if the ingredients are organic. Be cautious of adverts that will say that the supplement has extra ingredients, which will be useful in fast muscle development. This can be just a marketing strategy and its best to do a thorough research on the best post work out supplement for you. Don’t go around spending so much on a supplement while you can still achieve muscle growth and recover at a much more affordable rate. Consider the quality, noting that expensive doesn’t always mean high quality and just because it works on someone else then that’s the best supplement for you.

Checking Fundamental Ingredients

The ingredients used are very important, they determine the quality of the supplement and whether it will work for you in terms of muscle recovery and growth. The best ingredients are the ones that are organic, and also a supplement doesn’t need to have too many ingredients for it to work. Just the ingredients that are useful in muscle repair and growth should be in the ingredients. Below are some of the most important ingredients to look out for while checking out a post work out supplement. And also how you can blend these ingredients with other natural ingredients to have an ultimate post work out shake.

Replenishing the  electrolytes

Electrolytes, include sodium, calcium and potassium, which are usually crucial when looking for effective recovery. The electrolytes are able to  regulate  flow of the other nutrients into the body  cells, also allowing the athletes” heart, nervous systems and circulatory system to operate properly. Bananas tend to be a  good supply of electrolytes (potassium), and they can easily blend into many  recovery drinks that an athlete can be having.  Green juice also from vegetables and fruits/ coconut water contain abundant   electrolytes

Calculating the total quantity of carbs needed

When the  muscles receive much  energy they will need to function from the stored glycogen. The stores tend to get exhausted and depleted during training sessions and must be replenished very fast when the workout sessions ends. An athlete  should be able to track their calories  intake and other nutrients (carbs) so that they can ensure that they  are receiving the amount needed to stay fit and healthy without being overboard and experiencing unexpected weigh gain.  Important carbohydrates are like  maltodextrin and dextrose. Be sure that the post workout energy supplement you plan to take has the above carbohydrates, as they are crucial  especially when an athlete is involved in strenuous exercises sessions. Low carbs may cause muscle soreness and increased fatigue.

Identify the type of carbs to add

For a recovery drink taken as post-workout supplement, consumed after 15 minutes to 20  of the workout session, athletes should opt for something simple with easily digestible carbohydrates.  In order to attain optimal recovery, its crucial  to replace  all the carbs you have just  burned as soon as possible. Avoid complex carbohydrates, as they take  long for the body to effectively digest them and actually may hinder the recovery process. You may consider  blending  the below ingredients into the post workout energy supplement you take, because they offer good supply of carbohydrates: seeds, nuts and bananas. Nuts can include walnuts while seeds can be seeds from  pumpkin and flax . The nuts & seeds are very rich in fattyacids. The fattyacids are important after training sessions as they  provide the needed energy  for recover after a training session.

Try Combining  carbohydrates together with protein

Just as carbs as important so is protein is  a fundamental ingredient to all recovery drinks taken after training sessions. A protein that is  fast-digesting will provide the body muscles with the  needed amino acids quickly allowing the muscles  to rebuild stronger and bigger  after each training. If you are making a recovery shake on your own then you should buy whey protein in powder form. Whey offers a  good and  complete supply  of protein to the body and provide the needed amino acids  for  recovery.

 

Proven Record Track

Do a back ground check on the product and the company? This is very important when picking a post work out supplement, research on the duration of the supplement being in the market and its manufacturer. It’s best to stick to the supplements that have been in the market  long  enough also, you can check at the customer reviews of the supplements before buying one. Usually, when a supplement sticks  around after some years, it simply means its a good product.

Caution with Advertisements

Don’t pay attention to all that drama especially when the supplement has exaggerated high prices. Though it doesn’t mean that because a supplement is over advertised, it’s not good. Though it’s good to do intensive research on the product before spending your money. Since advertising is all about making the product look the best it’s good not to use it as a means of picking out your post work out supplement. Before buying the supplement make sure the company is rated and has good ingredients as those are the more important factors. Don’t be shocked if a supplement from the local company in your area works best for you and not the big names in the market.

Know What Supplements you need

Supplements differ to a great extent. That’s why when making any purchase of your post work out supplement make sure it’s in line with the objective of your workout and training.

Knowing the Different varities of Protein

It’s important to know the different types of protein also, this is because the type of protein you use matters with regards to achieving your fitness goals.

  • Casein protein: it takes longer when digesting than concentrate/ isolate proteins. Serious  runners or athletes also bodybuilders often take the casein protein at night before bed. This protein has the ability to deliver a supply of proteins (amino acids) during the whole night, as they sleep.
  • Isolate whey: its a  protein type that is absorbed quickly by the body, it is best taken  after a training/ workout session . Its able to  direct the  amino acids & the proteins into the body’s  depleted muscles. . Generally, it is suitable to be taken between meal .

 

Other Factors Worth Considering

Consider Other Supplements

Vitamin C Supplement

You should take the Vitamin C supplement in case you normally experience a wheezing chest or a cough after your workout sessions. You can add it in your recovery drink even though it not a must take supplement. Its meant for people with breathing difficulties. Its also an antioxidant which can assist the body recover faster after a  stressing activity/ strenuous workout.

Tart Cherry Supplement

You can add a tart cherry in case you always experience inflammation after working out. Consuming ginger or cherry tart will reduce chances of the muscles experiencing inflammation after undergoing very strenuous workouts.

Creatine as a supplement

Include creatine in your supplement intake, in case your fitness goal is gaining  muscle mass. It is favored and preferred by many body builders, since its able to add muscle mass,  even by 10 pounds & also increase the body strength with a change of 10%. You will need to consult with your doctor, prior to  adding creatine as a supplement as part of your recovery supplement. If you engage in strenuous sporting  activities like cycling, marathon running creatine will not be able to provide the body with the needed amount of energy for an optimal recovery. Also if you use creatine, avoid using it together with caffeine, as caffeine might counteract mots of the benefits that the supplement is supposed to give to the body.

Anti-Oxidants Supplement

You can use antioxidants in enhancing the recovery of the muscles after workout, though they are not  a necessary supplement for a recovery drink. Antioxidants are able promote the overall health, increase the stamina and the energy.  Turmeric,  a yellow spice is  similar to ginger.  The root vegetable contains antioxidants which can reduce inflammation hence faster recovery. Maca a Peruvian plant which is a root also has antioxidants, which  maintain the all round  good health, at the same increase stamina and energy. The foods are mostly  available in powder form hence easy to blend into a recovery shake.

 

When you workout, your body burns calories and uses up lots of energy. Your muscles stretch and strain and need to rebuild and repair.  In order to do this, you need to give your body the proper post-workout nutrition. To rebuild muscles and promote growth, the body needs a good dose of protein after your workout. To replenish your energy, carbohydrates will do the trick. A little bit of fat is good after a workout, too, because it’s great for your brain, skin, and many other body systems. Fiber will help keep you feeling full, and vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant can help with other workout-related issues like pain and inflammation. We hope you find this list useful, and make your workouts count!

 

FAQ

 

Q. What is an After Workout Drink?

What-is-a-post-workout-drink-best-post-workout-shakesA. Post workout drinks, also referred to as recovery drinks, are made to refuel your body.

They contain the protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients your body craves after extensive and taxing physical activity. Additionally, they are highly portable, so they are great for people on the go, that workout on location, or even as a quick meal replacement if you are in a rush.

However, not all post workout drinks are created equal, so reading the nutrition label will help you choose one that meets your dietary needs.

 

 

Q. When to take post workout shakes

A. Below is a simple guideline on the perfect time to take the post work out shakes.

  • For highest protein synthesis, drink your post workout shake within an hour of working out. This includes high aerobic activities, including running.
  • Research shows that post-workout shakes that are high in protein still have an effect up to 24 hours after a workout

When-to-take-post-workout-shakes-best-post-workout-shakes

Q. How Much After Workout Protein is necessary?

A. A simple guide below will be useful.

  • Research shows that about 20 grams of post workout protein is most effective.
  • Doctors say amount of protein intake post workout is more important than timing.
  • Overall diet matters, too. Protein intake should continue throughout the day.

How-Much-Post-Workout-Protein-is-necessary-Best-Post-Workout-Shakes

Q. When to drink them?

A. The most important time to drink a shake is right after you exercise.  This is when your muscles have been broken down from exercising and in desperate need of protein to rebuild.  I always drink a shake right after exercising.  However, don’t think one shake a day will do it unless you’re eating high protein foods throughout the day.  You want to provide your body with protein every three hours so it always has a constant stream of “building blocks” to use on those muscles.

Q. What are the different types of protein in a Protein Shake?

A. It’s important to know the different types of protein also, this is because the type of protein you use matters with regards to achieving your fitness goals.

  • Casein protein: it takes longer when digesting than concentrate/ isolate proteins. Serious  runners or athletes also bodybuilders often take the casein protein at night before bed. This protein has the ability to deliver a supply of proteins (amino acids) during the whole night, as they sleep.
  • Isolate whey: its a  protein type that is absorbed quickly by the body, it is best taken  after a training/ workout session . Its able to  direct the  amino acids & the proteins into the body’s  depleted muscles. . Generally, it is suitable to be taken between meal .

Q. What are the other supplements i can consider taking?

A. Below are some of the additional supplements , that athletes can consider taking:

Vitamin C Supplement

You should take the Vitamin C supplement in case you normally experience a wheezing chest or a cough after your workout sessions. You can add it in your recovery drink even though it not a must take supplement. Its meant for people with breathing difficulties. Its also an antioxidant which can assist the body recover faster after a  stressing activity/ strenuous workout.

Tart Cherry Supplement

You can add a tart cherry in case you always experience inflammation after working out. Consuming ginger or cherry tart will reduce chances of the muscles experiencing inflammation after undergoing very strenuous workouts.

Creatine as a supplement

Include creatine in your supplement intake, in case your fitness goal is gaining  muscle mass. It is favored and preferred by many body builders, since its able to add muscle mass,  even by 10 pounds & also increase the body strength with a change of 10%. You will need to consult with your doctor, prior to  adding creatine as a supplement as part of your recovery supplement. If you engage in strenuous sporting  activities like cycling, marathon running creatine will not be able to provide the body with the needed amount of energy for an optimal recovery. Also if you use creatine, avoid using it together with caffeine, as caffeine might counteract mots of the benefits that the supplement is supposed to give to the body.

Anti-Oxidants Supplement

You can use antioxidants in enhancing the recovery of the muscles after workout, though they are not  a necessary supplement for a recovery drink. Antioxidants are able promote the overall health, increase the stamina and the energy.  Turmeric,  a yellow spice is  similar to ginger.  The root vegetable contains antioxidants which can reduce inflammation hence faster recovery. Maca a Peruvian plant which is a root also has antioxidants, which  maintain the all round  good health, at the same increase stamina and energy. The foods are mostly  available in powder form hence easy to blend into a recovery shake.


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

Sources

  1. K. Aleisha Fetters, 12 Post-Workout Shakes for Maximum Muscle, Fitness Website,
  2. Bret Contreras, Why You Don’t Really Need a Post-Workout Protein Shake, Fitness Website,
  3. Chris Aceto, No Time to Eat? Shake Things Up, Fitness Website,
  4. Mike Samuels , Should You Drink a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout?, Health Website,
  5. Jessica Girdwain , The Truth About Post-Workout Shakes and Protein Timing, Health Website,
  6. Editorial Team, PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein Powder Review, Consumer Website,
  7. Summer Banks, Plant Fusion Review - Does This Protein Powder Work?, Fitness Website,
  8. Editorial Team, Pure Protein Ready to Drink Shake 35 Grams Protein Review, Fitness Website,
  9. Summer Banks, Pure Protein Review - Do These Supplement Really Work? , Fitness Website,
  10. Editor, Orgain Protein Powder – Best Purity You Can Buy?, Consumer Website,
Win a 36 Serving Sample Pack
Next Giveaway draw
Your email is safe with us. Pinky swear
Share:
WIN RUNNING GEAR