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Protein shakes are ideal for a grab-and-go breakfast or post-workout fuel, but they do require a bit of finesse. With the wrong formula or inadequate blender, the drink will be grainy, with pockets of powder clumps and chunks of un-blended produce or peanut butter. To ensure your protein shakes are fully-blended and a pleasure to drink, we researched all of the blenders on the market and spoke to registered dietitians and fitness experts to get their recommendations and advice. Read on to see the final four blenders for protein shakes that stood above the rest.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Vitamix 5200

Capacity: 64 ounces | Dishwasher safe: No | Watts: 1,380

Pros


  • Powerful
  • Large capacity
  • Durable

Cons


  • Expensive
  • Tall for small counter spaces

Why we chose it: Powerful and made to last, the Vitamix crushes ice and incorporates protein powder with ease.

Ranked as our number one choice for the best Vitamix blender, the 5200 is simple but powerful, pulverizing ice and making smooth, clump-free protein shakes. It only includes one dial that allows you to control the speed, along with an on/off switch and a pulse feature. Though the interface is less complex than other models, it’s all you need to make a great protein shake. And, if you decide to make a smoothie bowl or salsa for topping eggs, this is more than capable. “I know they’re pricey, but they blend so well,” says Sammi Haber Brondo, MS, RD. “I feel like I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth from mine in just a few years.”

Best Budget: Nutribullet Pro+

Capacity: 32 ounces | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Watts: 1,200

Pros


  • Powerful
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Portable

Cons


  • Some users have complained of leaks

According to the Nutribullet website, this blender can pulverize “fresh turmeric root, blackberry seeds, wheat grass, kale and more.” Plus, it’s affordable, powerful, and dishwasher safe. What more can you ask for when making a protein shake? This model also comes recommended by Gabbi Berkow, a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer and pilates instructor. “I recommend a NutriBullet to retain all the nutrients and fiber and make a quick, portable, well-blended shake,” she says. Some users have complained of leaks, but it shouldn’t be a problem so long as the cup is kept in an upright position and firmly sealed.

Best Portable: PopBabies Portable Blender

Capacity: 16 ouncesDishwasher safe: No Watts: 175

Pros


  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Cordless

Cons


  • Ingredients must be chopped small
  • Less powerful than other blenders

Why we chose it: For moments when you don’t want to prepare in advance, this cordless blender can whip up a shake anytime, anywhere.

Sure, you can make a protein shake at home and carry it out in the cup. But, sometimes, it makes more sense to actually blend your protein shake when you reach your destination. Perfect for camping, traveling, or at the office, the PopBabies Portable Blender allows you to blend from virtually anywhere. Cordless and with the drinking cup attached to the base, there’s nothing holding you back from blending on the go. It is less powerful than other options, so it may not be the best choice if you prefer to use tougher, thicker ingredients. However, the appliance does include an ice tray for cubes small enough to be fully blended into your shakes and smoothies.

Best Bottle: BlenderBottle Classic V2 Shaker Bottle

Capacity: 28 fluid ounces | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Watts: N/A

Pros


  • Manual
  • Portable
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons


  • Can leave clumps
  • Can leak
  • Can’t add additional ingredients

Why we chose it: A tried-and-true favorite, the Blender Bottle allows fitness enthusiasts to shake up protein drinks at the gym, on a hike, and more.

Shaker bottles are well-known and well-loved in the fitness community, enabling anyone to whip up a protein shake on the go. They include a silver wire whisk ball that mixes protein powder and liquids with just a shake of the bottle. Berkow recommends this as one of the best ways to make a protein shake, saying “put protein powder in a shaker bottle that has a silver mixer spring, add at least one cup of liquid, and shake until smooth.” Double check that the lid is firmly screwed on before using, as the liquid will fly out if not. Additionally, be aware that this is exclusively for using with protein powders and liquids—though strong enough to incorporate protein powder, it doesn’t have the ability to break down fruits, ice, or other additional ingredients.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Blender for Protein Shakes

Power

Strong blenders are the best for incorporating protein powders into liquids without leaving clumps. “A good blender should be enough to mix the protein powder well,” Brondo says. Higher wattage indicates more power, but lower-watt blenders, like the PopBabies Portable Blender, are enough if you’re not incorporating tougher ingredients.

Portability

If it’s important to drink your shakes on the go, consider a more portable option. Options that allow you to blend right in the bottle are more convenient than those that you need to use at home and pour into a travel cup.

Ingredients

Again, lower-watt blenders won’t be ideal for combining ingredients like root vegetables or tough fruits. Conversely, you don’t need a powerful blender if you’re only using protein powder and liquids. The recipes you use will determine the right blender for you.

FAQs

How do you make a smooth protein shake?

“Use enough liquid for the amount of protein powder you’re using,” Berkow says. “For example, if you use one scoop of protein powder, you’ll need at least ½ or 3/4 cup liquid. If you use two scoops of protein powder, you’ll need at least one cup of liquid. You can use ½ to one cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk or low fat/skim milk and use ice cubes (or water) for the rest of it.” Watching the time and mixing the ingredients can help, too. “Make sure you blend for a long enough amount of time,” Brondo says. “It often helps to stop and mix the shake with a spoon occasionally.”

Should I drink the foam in a protein shake?

The foam on top of a protein shake is totally fine to drink. Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, co-author of The NY Times Best Selling The Whole Body Reset, says that while it’s safe to drink, the air bubbles from the froth can lead to a feeling of fullness. 

What is the best way to mix protein powder?

Skolnik recommends putting liquids in first, then adding the protein powder, and finishing with additional ingredients. “If you put the powder directly on top of the liquid it gets damp and can work its way into the mixture,” Skolnik says. “If you put it in last, it piles up on top of the solids and it is harder to get it to fully blend in. Starting the blender with dry powder on top can cause the powder to fly up onto the top and sides of the blender.” Brondo echoes this, saying, “I’ll typically add liquid, then some kind of yogurt, then protein powder, then my solid ingredients, like any fruit or vegetables.”

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of great blenders out there that can make a great protein shake. If you’re looking for a well-rounded blender that can crush all ingredients and last for ages, you can’t go wrong with the Vitamix 5200.  

Methodology 

To find the best blenders for protein shakes, we researched different models on the market and spoke to experts Brondo, Berkow, and Skolnik. To start, we researched dozens of blenders, paying careful attention to customer reviews, performance, features, and more. Once we pared down the list, we cross-researched the blenders to check reviews on other sites. Additionally, many of the above models have been featured in other blender guides on SAVEUR, including our best Vitamix blenders guide, our reviews of the best Nutribullet blenders, and more. 

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