17 Homemade Protein Shakes For Muscle Building (No Protein Powder)

These are the best homemade protein shakes for muscle building.  They contain all natural, whole ingredients, no protein powder and they work amazingly well.

17 Homemade Protein Shakes For Muscle Building (No Protein Powder)

Protein is essential to muscle gain. Many people supplement their protein intake with protein shakes and others get all the protein they need through whole foods.

Each method has its benefits but how much protein is enough to build muscle?

Today, I will talk all about muscle gain with protein and how to get the right amount. Plus, I’ll share with you some protein shake recipes for building muscle.

** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.

How Does Protein Build Muscle?

Going Vegan?; vegan-protein-sources-FOOD-BREAD-SEEDS-leaves

The way you build muscle is by damaging them in a manner of speaking.

When you do intense resistance exercise, your muscles get micro-tears that need repair.

Protein is made of amino acids, which are responsible for most of the activity occurring in living cells.

The micro-tears in the muscle cause your body to string amino acids together into new proteins for repair.

The damage from the micro-tears activates satellite cells which multiply at the damaged area and integrate into the muscle fibers to strengthen and enlarge them.

Muscle growth happens when you have enough amino acids to fix all the micro-tears and some extra.

The leftover amino acids are used to further muscle growth and bulk you up.

If you don’t have enough amino acids, then your muscles won’t heal during workouts, you won’t build muscle and you’re likely to experience muscle loss and get injuries.

To keep that from happening, you must eat enough protein.  

Can You Gain Muscle Just By Eating Protein?

High Protein Shake Recipe Without Protein Powder

Just eating protein alone will not do much to increase your muscle mass. If you add more protein but not sufficient calories to your diet, you will not gain more muscle.

Increasing your caloric intake and eating more protein will build an identical amount of additional muscle mass and fat if you maintain a consistent exercise level.

Not eating enough protein will cause you not to build muscle because muscle is built directly from digested protein.

If you aren’t working out but consuming a lot of protein, you will add fat and not muscle.

The body can only use but so much protein for repair and tissue growth. If your protein intake is too high, the excess protein you consume will get excreted through urine or stored as fat.

Just like eating too many carbohydrates or fat, eating too much protein leads to weight gain. 

{RELATED POST: How Much Is Too Much Protein? What No One Is Telling You}

How Much Protein Do You Need To Build Muscle?

Paleo vs Vegan? Why A Pegan Diet Is Your Best Option; man at restaurant eating

The recommended protein daily allowance is a minimum of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

As an example, for a 150-pound individual, that would be 55 grams per day.

For muscle growth, it’s recommended to consume 1.5 to 2 grams per kilogram of body mass.

For that same 150-pound person, it would mean 102 to 136 grams of protein each day.

Do Protein Shakes Really Help You Build Muscle?

Chocolate banana coconut hazelnut milkshake or smoothie. Healthy organic drink.

After the age of 20, muscle growth naturally declines. Consuming protein shakes will not alter the size or strength of your muscles. 

Protein shakes can enlarge your muscle in combination with other factors.

To build muscle you need exercise and strength training to encourage muscle synthesis and muscle development. 

Activities such as running and weightlifting have positive impacts on muscle development and other routines that incorporate well-crafted cardio and weight-training.

You want to increase the demands you put on your body with every workout to gain muscle.

Otherwise, you won’t be challenging your body. Catabolism and anabolism, the processes of tearing down and restoring tissue, are what builds muscle.

It’s not always convenient to eat a protein-rich meal following a workout.

Therefore, protein shakes provide a post-training boost. However, protein shakes should compliment a diet with foods that provide protein.

Even though it isn’t necessary to have a protein shake to increase your muscle mass because you can increase your intake in other ways, the shake offers convenience.

Your diet you should focus on the consumption of whole foods but protein shakes can act as a decent supplement if you are trying to build muscle. 

Does Protein After A Workout Help Build Muscle?

Researchers have discovered that diet can manipulate muscle metabolism after exercise. Have protein post-workout to muscle gain.

However, there are mixed suggestions as to the timing of the protein intake.

One group of researchers suggest that for optimal muscle gain, protein should be consumed immediately following a workout.

These researchers seem in line with the long-held belief that proper muscle recovery and growth occurs in the anabolic window which is a “short” period after a workout within 30 to 45 minutes.

Other studies, however, suggest that the window could extend to 24 hours or longer.

The recommendation is to spread out protein intake within that extended window.

That would mean consuming protein multiple times following the workout.

According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, for the best muscle growth, a person should have protein four times a day at 0.4 to 0.55 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Why It Is Better To Get Your Protein From Natural Sources Rather Than Protein Powder

Breakfast vegan plate

It is better to get protein from foods than protein powder because having a natural source of protein comes with other essential nutrients that are typically lacking in powders.

Many powders also contain hidden additives, sugars, sweeteners, flavorings, and colors.

Eating whole foods for protein provides you with disease-preventing antioxidants, vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals.

Risk reduction for heart problems and cancer are linked to eating protein-rich foods.

Foods with protein also have substances that promote satiety and digestive health.

Whole foods don’t have the negative effects that some protein shakes can have, such as nutrient deficiencies, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, nausea, or bloating.

Protein powder is a convenient and simple source of high-quality protein but it’s preferable that you get all your protein from whole foods instead.

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of plant foods that have high amounts of protein, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, quinoa, wild rice, spirulina, chia seeds, hempseed, amaranth, and green peas.

If you want to use powder, look at this article I wrote about the best plant-based protein powders

{RELATED POST: 19 Best Plant Based Protein Sources: Complete Whole Foods}

Now that we’ve looked into the science behind protein shakes, let me share my favorite healthy protein shakes with you. 

17 Homemade Protein Shakes For Muscle Building (No Protein Powder)

Health Benefits of A High Protein Diet


To gain muscle, you want to consume no more than 30 percent protein of your total daily caloric intake.

You want to have a balanced diet and exercise.

Protein alone won’t magically create muscle mass without these factors and others, such as timing.

Post workout is the best time to consume protein but remember to spread your intake throughout the extended window. 

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17 Homemade Protein Shakes For Muscle Building (No Protein Powder)


Katherine Kyle @ Green Thickies

Founder at Green Thickies
Katherine lost 56 pounds and recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Green Thickies.
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