Best Fruits For Protein Shakes (8+ Tasty Combos)

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I’ve been making protein shakes for the last 10+ years and have tried countless combinations of different fruits, liquids, and protein flavors.

So which is my favorite? I love bananas combined with chocolate protein, peanut butter, and almond milk.

However, everyone has a different taste palette and food preferences/intolerance.

So below I’m going to give you 8+ fruit combos for your next protein shake.

Why Put Fruit In Your Protein Shake?

Putting fruit in your protein shake is great because it’s a quick-digesting carbohydrate that can help fuel your workouts, encourage post-workout recovery, and provide important nutrients for your health.

Are you eating the right foods for your bodybuilding goals?

Does Using Fresh or Frozen Fruits Matter For Protein Shakes?

Frozen fruit and fresh fruit have similar nutritional content.

Fruit starts to lose nutrients not long after it is picked. So if you don’t have access to local picked fresh fruit, you are better off using frozen.

However, the difference is small, so texture and flavor can also guide your decision. 

For example, I like thick, creamy protein smoothies with a texture like a milkshake, so I find that frozen fruit (and ice cubes) helps me to get a thicker protein smoothie.

If you prefer a thinner texture for your protein smoothie, it’s better to use fresh fruit (or thawed frozen fruit) instead.

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4 Tips For Selecting Fruits For Your Protein Shakes

4 tips for selecting fruits for your protein shakes

When it comes to selecting fruits for your protein shakes, you’re going to want to think about what fruits you like, what flavor(s) of protein powder you have, which fruits are available and affordable, and what your nutritional goals are.

1. Choose Fruits You Like

One of the best ways to ensure long-term success with your health and fitness is to find an approach that you enjoy, which includes eating and drinking things that taste good to you.

Start by thinking about what fruits you already enjoy and consider ways to add them to a protein shake.

2. Pick The Right Flavor of Protein Powder

Next, you’ll want to figure out what fruits pair best with certain flavors of protein powder.

You might be like me and have lots of different flavors of protein powder in your pantry or you may only have one flavor.  

Depending on what flavor(s) you have (and like), you’ll need to think about what fruits will and won’t taste good with that protein powder. This is something that you’ll have to experiment with.

For example, I love mixing peaches with vanilla protein powder, but I think they taste disgusting when mixed with chocolate protein powder. You might disagree.

Start experimenting with flavor combinations to see what you like best. If you want to try different flavors of protein without committing to a full tub, then order these small sample variety packs of protein powder flavors.

3. Assess Fruit Availability & Affordability

You’ll also need to think about what fruit is available to you because depending on where you live, you might only be able to get certain fruits at certain times of the year or be limited by how expensive fruit can be.

If your budget is tight, fresh fruit may be off the table and you may need to look for frozen or canned fruit instead, as they tend to be more affordable options.

Canned fruit is the most widely available and affordable option. It’s also softer and easier to blend in a protein shake; just be sure to consider any added syrup or juice as part of the nutritional info. 

However, if you’re trying to keep carbs lower while using canned fruit then I suggest rinsing the fruit before putting it into your smoothie.

4. Consider Your Goals

Which fruits are best to add to your protein shake will also depend on your health and fitness goals because some fruits are higher in calories and carbs while others are much lower.

If your goal is cutting/fat loss, then you will likely want to avoid calorie-dense fruits that are high in natural sugars and provide more calories per serving than less calorie-dense fruits.  

Examples of calorie-dense fruits include dried fruit, bananas, pineapples, and oranges.

Instead, you will want to look for fruits that have low calorie density, which are fruits that have a higher water and fiber content. These fruits will help you to feel full for very few calories.

Examples of low calorie fruits include melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon) and berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries).

Best Fruit Combinations For Protein Shakes

Some fruit and protein flavor combinations are matches made in heaven. Here are my top three flavor combos (with recipes to try) and a list of tried and true combinations that you should consider.

Note: if you’re consuming your protein shake around your workout, the recipe should be low in fat since fat slows digestion, and can delay the absorption of important nutrients.

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

peanut butter banana protein smoothie

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine the ingredients in the order listed in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

Nutrition (based on my selections):

  • 270 Calories
  • 29P/32C/5F

Cocoa Berry Protein Smoothie

cocoa berry protein smoothie

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine the ingredients in the order listed in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

Nutrition (based on my selections): 

  • 200 Calories
  • 29P/15C/4F

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

pumpkin pie protein smoothie

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine the ingredients in the order listed in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.

Nutrition (based on my selections):

  • 150 Calories
  • 22P/11C/4F

Other Popular Fruit Combinations

  • Tropical: Pineapple + Banana + Vanilla Protein 
  • Creamsicle: Orange + Vanilla Protein
  • Blackforest: Cherries + Chocolate Protein
  • PB & J: Berries + Peanut Butter Protein
  • Apple Cinnamon: Frozen Apple + Cinnamon Protein

Check out more recipes in my article: How Many Calories Are In A Protein Shake? (9 Examples).

10 Types of Fruit You Can Put in Protein Shakes

Can You Put Banana in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put bananas in protein shakes. They are a very popular fruit for protein smoothies because they are relatively high in natural sugars (carbs) and they also provide potassium, an electrolyte that is lost during training. I like to use frozen bananas to blend for a creamy texture.

Can You Put Apples in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put apples in protein shakes because they have a mild flavor and they pair well with cinnamon, caramel, peanut butter, or vanilla protein powder. To use fresh apples, you should peel and core the apple first. That said, I recommend using frozen apples for convenience and a creamier texture.

Can You Put Watermelon in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put watermelon in protein shakes, but because it has high water content, you may need to adjust the liquid for your shake. Watermelon is low in calories and carbs, so it can provide volume to help you feel full without many calories, which is helpful for weight loss.

Can You Put Oranges in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put oranges in protein shakes; they’re especially great when paired with vanilla protein powder to create an Orange Creamsicle flavor. Be sure to peel them completely and remove as much of the white pith as possible. I also recommend using a high-speed blender to help create a smoother texture.  

Can You Put Pineapple in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put pineapple in protein shakes. I really like pineapple with vanilla protein powder, a little bit of coconut extract, and fresh shredded coconut for a pina colada experience. Either fresh or frozen pineapple will work, but frozen pineapple makes it more like a frozen blended drink.

Can You Put Cherries in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put cherries in protein shakes. I especially like them with chocolate protein powder to create a Black Forest flavor. If you’re using fresh cherries then ensure that all pits have been removed.  I prefer to use frozen pitted cherries because they’re more convenient and they provide a creamier texture.

Can You Put Strawberries in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put strawberries in protein shakes. They are a great lower-carb choice for those trying to limit their carb intake for fat loss. Strawberries pair perfectly with chocolate or vanilla protein powder. I prefer to use frozen strawberries to create a thick texture for my protein smoothie.

Can You Put Blueberries in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put blueberries in protein shakes. They are a great source of antioxidants and pair perfectly with chocolate, vanilla, or unflavored protein powder.  I find that frozen blueberries work best, but you need a powerful blender to fully grind up the blueberry skins.

Can You Put Blackberries in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put blackberries in protein shakes. They are lower in carbs but higher in fiber, with 5g per 100g, so if you’re sensitive to fiber before a workout, you may want to limit your consumption to ~½ cup. I like the texture of frozen blackberries and I think they pair best with chocolate protein powder.

Can You Put Raspberries in Protein Shakes?

Yes, you can put raspberries in protein shakes. They are lower in carbs but higher in fiber, with ~6g per 100g, so you may need to limit the amount you use (~½ cup) if you’re sensitive to a higher fiber intake before your workout. I like the texture of frozen raspberries, and I think they pair best with chocolate protein powder.

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About The Author

Lauren Graham
LAUREN GRAHAM

Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement.  Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete.  She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.