Best Fruits For Protein Shakes (10 Tasty Combos + Recipes)

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

So, which is my favorite?

I love bananas with chocolate protein, peanut butter, and almond milk.

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

So, below, I will give you ten fruit combos for your next protein shake.

Also, scroll to the bottom and find my three favorite fruit protein shake recipes.

Fruits You Can Mix With Protein Shakes

An image of different fruit and which protein powder flavor they pair best with.

1. Bananas

Bananas are the most popular fruit for protein smoothies.

They are relatively high in natural sugars (carbs) and provide potassium, an electrolyte lost during training, and are a good source of Vitamin B6, aiding in muscle recovery and reducing inflammation.

I like to use frozen bananas to blend for a creamy texture.

2. Apples

Apples are another great fruit to mix with protein shakes.

They have a mild flavor and pair well with cinnamon, caramel, peanut butter, or vanilla protein powder.

Rich in quercetin, an antioxidant, apples can boost endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs.

To use fresh apples, peel and core the apple first. I recommend using frozen apples for convenience and a creamier texture.

3. Watermelon

While not as common, you can put watermelon in protein shakes. You’ll need to adjust the liquid for your shake because it has a high water content.

Watermelon is rich in the amino acid citrulline, which may help improve blood flow and reduce muscle soreness.

Watermelon is also low in calories and carbs, so it can provide volume to help you feel full without many calories, which is helpful for weight loss.

4. Oranges

Oranges are especially great when paired with vanilla protein powder to create an Orange Creamsicle flavor.

They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, crucial for repairing tissues and reducing muscle soreness.

Peel them completely and remove as much white pith as possible. Blend a little longer for a smoother texture.

5. Pineapples

Pineapple is another great option to mix with protein.

It contains bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in muscle recovery.

Pineapple with vanilla protein powder, a little coconut extract, and fresh shredded coconut creates a pina colada experience.

Either fresh or frozen pineapple will work.

6. Cherries

Cherries, high in antioxidants and with anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery.

I especially like mixing cherries with chocolate protein powder to create a Black Forest flavor.

Use frozen pitted cherries for convenience and a creamier texture.

7. Strawberries

Strawberries in protein shakes are great for limiting carb intake for fat loss.

They are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, essential for immune support and muscle recovery.

Strawberries pair perfectly with chocolate or vanilla protein powder. I prefer frozen strawberries for a thick texture.

8. Blueberries

Blueberries are another common fruit to mix with protein.

They combat inflammation, which supports muscle recovery.

They pair perfectly with chocolate, vanilla, or unflavored protein powder.

Frozen blueberries work best, but you need a powerful blender to fully grind the skins.

9. Blackberries

Blackberries are another favorite of mine.

They are lower in carbs but higher in fiber, so if you’re sensitive to fiber before a workout, you may want to limit your consumption.

They are rich in vitamins like Vitamin C and K, which are important for immune function and bone health.

I like the texture of frozen blackberries and think they pair best with chocolate protein powder.

10. Raspberries

Finally, let’s not forget about raspberries.

Raspberries are a great source of antioxidants and manganese, which are important for energy conversion.

Use frozen raspberries for texture and limit the amount (~½ cup) if sensitive to higher fiber intake before workouts.

They pair best with chocolate protein powder.

Top 3 Favorite Recipes (Fruit + Protein Combos)

Here are my top three flavor combos and a list of tried and true combinations 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.

1. Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

peanut butter banana protein smoothie


  • 1 cup liquid of choice (water, milk, or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla, peanut butter or unflavored)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • Optional: pinch of pink Himalayan salt


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

2. Cocoa Berry Protein Smoothie

cocoa berry protein smoothie


  • 1 cup liquid of choice (water, milk, or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • ½ cup frozen berry blend
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • Optional: pinch of pink Himalayan salt


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

3. Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

pumpkin pie protein smoothie


  • 1 cup liquid of choice (water, milk, or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla, caramel, or cinnamon flavor)
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • Optional: pinch of pink Himalayan salt


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

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.

Related Articles:

4 Tips For Selecting Fruits For Your Protein Shakes

4 tips for selecting fruits for your protein shakes

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 many different protein powder flavors 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).

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

What Fruits Go Well With Chocolate Protein Powder?

Cherries, banana, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry.

What Fruits Go Well With Vanilla Protein Powder?

Pineapple, banana, orange, apple, pineapple, strawberry, and blueberry.

What To Read Next


Abbate, E. (2022, November 26). 7 Muscle Recovery Foods for After Your Next Workout. Health. Retrieved from

Tee-Melegrito, R. A. (2023, August 22). Bananas and Lyme disease: Benefits and more. Medical News Today. Retrieved from h

Boyer J, Liu RH. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J. 2004 May 12;3:5. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-3-5. PMID: 15140261; PMCID: PMC442131.

Smeets ETHC, Mensink RP, Joris PJ. Effects of L-citrulline supplementation and watermelon consumption on longer-term and postprandial vascular function and cardiometabolic risk markers: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in adults. Br J Nutr. 2021 Dec 6;128(9):1-34. doi: 10.1017/S0007114521004803. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34863321; PMCID: PMC9592950.

Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013 Oct;28(4):314-28. doi: 10.1007/s12291-013-0375-3. Epub 2013 Sep 1. PMID: 24426232; PMCID: PMC3783921.

Bromelain. In ScienceDirect Topics. Retrieved from

Beconcini D, Felice F, Fabiano A, Sarmento B, Zambito Y, Di Stefano R. Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cherry Extract: Nanosystems-Based Strategies to Improve Endothelial Function and Intestinal Absorption. Foods. 2020 Feb 17;9(2):207. doi: 10.3390/foods9020207. PMID: 32079234; PMCID: PMC7074069.

Cleveland Clinic. Benefits of Blackberries. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials.

Burton-Freeman BM, Sandhu AK, Edirisinghe I. Red Raspberries and Their Bioactive Polyphenols: Cardiometabolic and Neuronal Health Links. Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):44-65. doi: 10.3945/an.115.009639. PMID: 26773014; PMCID: PMC4717884.

WebMD. Health Benefits of Raspberries.

About The Author

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. 

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