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Calories in Protein Shakes: 8 Recipes (100-800 cals)

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I’ve been a powerlifter for years and my baseline protein intake is over 250g a day. That’s just the norm… When I’m trying to build muscle, I’ll be hitting 300-350g of protein a day.

Smoothies are the only way I can hit that every day without spending a fortune on meat or eating all day long.

The number of calories in protein shakes depends on the ingredients you put in them! I regular make protein shakes that are 100 cals and others up to 800 cals when I’m bulking.

I’ll share everything I know to help you figure out how many calories are in a protein shake.

Be sure to check out our list of the best protein shake recipes!

how to make protein shakes taste better

Factors in Calculating How Many Calories Are in Protein Shakes

If you’re trying to calculate calories in protein shakes, the only guaranteed method is to calculate yourself by adding up the calories for each ingredient.

There are three major factors that will determine how many calories are in your protein shakes.

  1. Type of protein powder
  2. Type of liquid
  3. Additional ingredients

Let’s do a deep dive on each one to help you estimate the number of calories in your protein shake.

1. Type of Protein Powder

There are a million different protein powders out there. I love Optimum Nutrition’s gold standard whey protein because it is almost purely protein. It doesn’t have a bunch of added calories from carbs or fats.

If you are trying to bulk up, you can go with a weight gainer protein powder.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular protein powders and the calorie breakdown in each serving.

Protein PowderCaloriesProteinCarbsFats
Optimum Nutrition Whey12024g4g1.5g
Dymatize Super Mass Gainer128052g245g11g
NOW Sports Whey Protein16024g10g2.5g
Transparent Labs Mass Gainer76053g109g13g
Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass125050g252g4.5g
Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder

2. Type of Liquid

There are a bunch of different liquids you can use for protein shakes but the most common are water, milk, almond milk, and whole milk.

Here’s a breakdown of how many calories are in a serving of each kind of liquid per 1 cup or 240 ml.

Milk (skim)808 g12 g0
Milk (2%)1208 g12 g5 g
Whole milk1508 g12 g8 g
Iced coffee15<1 g3 g0 g
Almond milk601 g8 g2.5 g
Serving sizes for 1 cup of liquid (240 ml)

If you want to make a protein shake thicker, use whole milk or almond milk.

best milk for smoothies

3. Additional Ingredients

Depending on which ingredients you choose, adding more to your protein shake may only increase the calorie count slightly, or it could add hundreds of calories per ingredient.

The table below shows the calorie count per serving of several popular smoothie ingredients. These ingredients are also a great way to make protein shakes taste better!

Typically, adding a few of these ingredients to your protein powder and milk will increase the total calorie count to between 400 and 700 calories.

Ricotta cheese½ cup (124g)216
Peanut butter2 tbsp (32g)190
Pumpkin seeds¼ cup (30g)180
Oats½ cup (40g)150
Chia seeds2 tbsp (28g)138
Avocado½ medium (68g)114
Kefir1 cup (240ml)110
Banana1 medium banana (118g)105
Mango1 cup (165g)99
Edamame½ cup (75g)95
Tofu½ cup (124g)88
Blueberries1 cup (148g)84
Cottage cheese½ cup (105g)81
Greek yogurt½ cup (113g)80
Raspberries1 cup (123g)64
Regular yogurt½ cup (113g)61
Broccoli1 cup (91g)55
Egg white3 whites (96g)51
Strawberries1 cup (152g)49
Kale1 cup (16g)8
Spinach1 cup (30g)7
Spinach1 cup (30g)7

oatmeal protein smoothie

8 Protein Shake Recipes Ranging from 100 to 800 Calories

I’ve tested tons of protein shake recipes and I’m a huge fan of meal prepping them. I’ll make a big batch on Sunday night and drink them throughout the week. Depending on what ingredients you use, protein shakes last in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Here are 8 recipes we’ve used over the years depending on our calorie goals.

100 calorie protein shake

  • 1 cup of water
  • 25g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)

200 calorie protein shake

  • 1.25 cup skim milk
  • 25g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)

300 calorie protein shake

  • 1.33 cup whole milk
  • 25g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)

400 calorie protein shake

  • 1.5 cup skim milk
  • 25g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt

500 calorie protein shake

  • 1.5 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 25g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)

600 calorie protein shake

  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1.5 tbsp peanut butter
  • 30g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)

700 calorie protein shake

  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 25g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)

800 calorie protein shake

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 35g of pure whey protein (gold standard whey)
how to make a thick protein shake

Common Questions About Calories in Protein Shakes

How many calories is a protein shake with milk?

A protein shake made from one scoop of protein powder and one cup of 2% milk will contain around 240 calories. Adding more ingredients or increasing the portion size will increase the calorie count. 

Are protein shakes good for weight loss?

Protein shakes can be good for weight loss as they are filling but relatively low in calories. This means you can replace high-calorie meals or snacks with a lower-calorie protein shake and decrease your total calorie intake.

Is 200 calories a lot for a protein shake?

The lowest-calorie protein shake you could possibly make (protein powder and water) will contain around 100 calories. Swapping water for milk will increase this to around 240 calories. A 200-calorie protein shake is, therefore, quite low in calories.

Should I count my protein shake calories?

If you want to manage your weight through a calorie-controlled diet, then you will need to count the calories in your protein shakes. While some protein shakes are very low in calories, shakes made from several ingredients can contain several hundred calories. 

Why are protein shakes so high in calories?

Protein shakes are not automatically high in calories. A scoop of protein powder mixed with water will only contain 100-120 calories. Some protein shakes are high in calories because of all the other ingredients added to the recipe.

Should I have protein shakes with milk or water?

Whether you have your protein shake with milk or water depends on your own taste and health goals. If you care about your protein shake tasting nice and creamy, and you want to hide the chalky texture of the protein powder, then milk is the best option. However, water is the lowest calorie choice if you simply want protein while consuming the fewest possible calories.

Final Verdict: How Many Calories in a Protein Shake?

The calorie count of a protein shake can vary from 100 calories to 800+ calories, depending on the ingredients included and the portion size.

A shake made from only protein powder and water usually contains 110 calories. 

Swapping water for milk will increase the total calories to 240. 

And adding other ingredients will increase the calorie count even further, depending on which ingredients you choose. Usually, a protein shake made from protein powder, milk, and one or two additional ingredients will contain around 400 to 700 calories.

Of course, there’s no limit to how high you can go if you make a large protein shake containing lots of high-calorie ingredients. That’s why it’s essential to understand what you’re putting into your shake, particularly when you’re on a calorie-controlled diet.

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Richmond Howard

Richmond Howard started World of Blenders in 2022 to help people solve all their blender issues and buy the best blender for their kitchen! He's tested dozens of blenders and on his other site, Meal Prepify, he's helped over 3 million people learn how to meal prep.

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