A skinny chocolate protein smoothie recipe for muscle recovery after a butt-kicking workout. How good doesn’t that sound? And guess what– it’s only 125 calories per shake and lactose-free.

recovery drink recipe in a tall glass

Why We Love This Recipe for Chocolate Recovery Shake

Sometimes after a rockin’ hard workout it’s hard to get yourself to cook a full on meal with lots of protein. That’s why I have a deep love for protein smoothies. They’re really easy to make, they pretty much taste like milkshakes (especially this one), and I know that if I get a snack in right after my workout, my muscles can recover faster. Which means I will get more from my workout.

Protein after a workout snack is important for protein synthesis, and carbs are needed to replace glycogen (which is fuel for muscles.) But making sure that the calorie count doesn’t undo the workout is also important. So for most women, about 150 calories is all you need.

I’ve found that a high-protein smoothie or shake, like my Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothie or today’s Chocolate Recovery Shake, is the easiest thing to drink after a workout, especially if it tastes like chocolate. I also like this low calorie chocolate protein shake because it is lactose-free, which makes it easier for me to digest!

125 calories skinny chocolate protein shake {lactose-free}

Key Ingredients for This Low Calorie Chocolate Protein Shake

Banana

You can either use fresh bananas or freeze them beforehand. This helps make a smoothie extra thick and creamy. To freeze bananas slice them up into 1-inch pieces. Lay them out in a single layer on a parchment-lined plate and freeze for 30 minutes. Combine the banana slices in a ziploc bag and continue freezing until ready to use.

I love including bananas in my post-workout smoothies because they–much like protein-help with muscle recovery due to potassium. Bananas also have naturally occurring sugars in them, which help make this smoothie sweet.

Unsweetened whey protein powder

I like adding protein powder to smoothies and shakes to help with muscle recovery, satiety and fullness, especially if it’s a post-workout snack. Feel free to use whichever protein powder you prefer. A quick tip is to use chocolate protein powder (if you have it) and omit the cocoa powder.

Ice

I almost always add in a half cup of ice to my shakes and smoothies because I like how it really thickens up the texture and makes them super cold.

Unsweetened almond milk

I like using unsweetened almond milk for protein shakes and smoothies because it’s really low in calories and is easier to digest. However, use whatever milk you like for this. I also love using oat milk as another dairy-free option because it is creamy and really neutral-tasting.

Cocoa powder

Much like the almond milk and protein powder, I prefer to use unsweetened cocoa powder. This helps make this protein shake rich and decadent, without adding any unwanted sweetness. The chocolate flavor also helps mask any unwanted flavors from protein powder. Like I said above, you can always just use chocolate protein powder instead.

Pure maple syrup, dark or amber or agave or pinch stevia

You can sweeten this shake with maple syrup, agave, monk fruit or a pinch of stevia. If your protein powder is sweetened you won’t need any. Using agave or maple adds 25 calories per serving.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make This Recipe

Puree the banana, protein powder, ice, milk, cocoa and sweetener in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.

FAQs and Expert Tips

What to add instead of protein powder:

If you don’t have protein powder or prefer not to use it, add a serving of plain non-fat Greek yogurt. It will alter the taste a bit, and you might have to add extra sweetness, but you’ll still get a full 17 grams of protein.

How to keep calories in check for this smoothie:

I know it’s tempting to just throw all the ingredients together without measuring, but if you’re trying to stick to a calorie amount, it’s important to measure out at least the higher-calorie ingredients (protein powder, banana, the addition of any potential nut butters, milk).

Can I make this smoothie in advance?

I always recommend making smoothies right before serving as they will taste the freshest, and will be nicely thick and cold. If you do make it ahead, leave the ice out as the ice will just make it watery. Store the smoothie in a glass jar or sealable cup until ready to serve for up to 12 hours.

Additional Smoothie & Shake Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Skinny Chocolate Recovery Shake on healthyseasonalrecipes.com

Skinny Chocolate Recovery Shake

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: snack
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chocolate flavored skinny protein shake for optimum muscle recovery after a workout.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Puree banana, protein powder, ice, milk, cocoa and sweetener in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy.

Notes

Protein Powder Alternative:

If you don’t have protein powder or prefer not to use it, add a serving of plain non-fat Greek yogurt. It will alter the taste a bit, and you might have to add extra sweetness, but you’ll still get a full 17 grams of protein.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup each
  • Calories: 125
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 130 mg
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 12 g
DISCLOSURE: I received CABOT Whey Protein free of charge because I am a member of the Cabot Fit team. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Nutritional Stats with/without Caloric Sweetener

Nutritional stats with maple or agave, 2 servings

  • Cal: 151
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Calcium: 30%
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Carb: 25 g

Nutritional stats with stevia, 2 servings

  • Cal: 125
  • Fat: 2 g.
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Calcium: 30%
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Carb: 18 g