Throwing together nutrient-packed protein shakes is a staple practice for people wanting to take their fitness seriously. While beneficial for efficiently delivering nourishment to the body during moments where time is of the essence, they are not exactly known for always tasting that great. Many people complain of awkward chalkiness or dull flavors when relying on a protein shake to replace a meal. Luckily, there are several ways boost the taste of your protein shakes without compromising on health.

1. Fruit:

If you’re using carbohydrates to your advantage with your workouts, odds are fruits are involved. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and bananas are all fantastic options to give your protein shake some vibrant flavor while improving the texture. The natural sugars will help give you an energy boost before you hit the gym as well.

2. Low-fat milk:

When either water or ice are used by themselves in a protein shake, it can make the chalkiness of the mix really stand out due to the low-density texture. Using low-fat milk instead will thicken the texture, cover up some undesirable tastes, and bring out preferred flavors. An added bonus here is you end up with even more protein in your mix.

3. Add some cacao powder to your mix:

Your protein mix likely already has some sweetness to it, but not so much as to be on the verge of being a full-blown dessert. Get some pure cacao powder, with no added sugar, and add a few scoops to your mix to give it a chocolatey boost. This method works particularly well when paired with low-fat milk.

4. Cinnamon:

The most common protein mixes come with some sort of vanilla flavor, adding some sweetness already. By adding a scoop of cinnamon, along with perhaps your own better quality vanilla and honey, you can add some more complexity to the flavors. This may not pair too well with fruits, but it will work excellently with the cacao powder.

5. Peanut Butter:

Your favorite childhood snack (and let’s face it, still a pantry essential) is now a great way to add some tasty flavor to your workout mix. This addition will pair well with most protein powder flavors and will add some thickness to your drink. As with the milk option, you also get a bonus on the protein content.

Your protein shake doesn’t have to be boring or feel like a chore you have to check off your list to achieve your fitness goals. Experiment with different healthy ways to make your protein shake taste better, and you will find the perfect mix that will leave you looking forward to drinking your creation each day.