Of all the effective supplements available these days, one of the best is still good 'ole protein powder. That's because without enough quality protein, then all the other issues involved in bodybuilding – training, recovery, hormone manipulation etc. – are pretty much meaningless.

Sure, "real" food is always a good choice, but it's not exactly easy to get anywhere from 1.0 to 2.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight on solid food alone, especially if you're busy with your job, family, school, wooing women and all the other important stuff in life. Most of us around T-mag use at least a couple of protein shakes a day along with several solid meals. So over the years we've come up with a lot of protein shake recipes designed to fit a variety of physique goals. In this article, we'll give you a few of our favorites.

And yes, crybaby critics, we used our own protein products, Low-Carb Grow! and Classic Grow!, in these recipes because we think the taste is incredible and we know the quality is unbeatable. But if you like another brand, then these recipes will work for you too. Just don't write in and tell us you don't like one of our recipes when it tastes crappy because you used that "chalk dust in a can" cut-rate protein powder, okay?

Note: Since macronutrients and calories may change based on brands and amounts used, we'll let you figure them out.

The "No Kiddies" Weight Gainer

Most so-called "weight gainers" on the market are nothing more than sugar mixed with some poor quality protein. Kid stuff, in other words. The one below has almost no sugar, but is instead packed with high quality protein, healthy fats, and carbs. You'll get around 835 calories and 84 grams of protein per shake. "Hardgainers" no longer have an excuse. Just toss back a couple of these a day, lift hard, and get ready to grow!

  • 2-3 scoops Chocolate Classic Grow!
  • 20 oz (2 1/2 cups) of skim milk
  • 1/2 cup of low fat or fat-free cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter

Blend Grow! and milk until smooth. Add in additional ingredients one-by-one and continue blending until smooth.. You'll think you're eating a creamy dessert. And don't worry if you don't like cottage cheese. We don't either, but it makes a nutritious, casein-rich base for a lot of these shakes and you can't taste it once you add the other ingredients.

Note: Want to bump up the calories even more, ya skinny bastard? Add a couple of tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, just like the old timers used to do.

Massive Eating Shakes

"Massive Eating" is one of the most popular and successful diets we've ever published here at T-Mag. Basically, you try not to mix too much fat and carbs into the same meal. Instead, you eat mostly protein plus carbs (P+C) in some meals and mostly protein plus fat (P+F) in other meals. Depending on overall daily calories, this is a great plan for both mass gains and fat loss. Here are a couple of shakes that meet the P+C and P+F guidelines.

  • American Pie Shake
  • 2 -3 scoops vanilla Classic Grow!
  • 1 container (3.9 oz) natural unsweetened apple sauce
  • Cinnamon as desired
  • Cold water (Add more or less based on the consistency you want.)
  • Low-Carb Peanut Butter Cup Shake
  • 2-3 scoops chocolate Low-Carb Grow!
  • 1 serving of natural peanut butter
  • Cold water

To make the above into a low carb pudding, add half a cup of low fat cottage cheese and blend using less water. Chill, sprinkle with a serving of peanuts and eat with a spoon.

The Famous Oatmeal Shake and Protein Pudding

As weird as this sounds, bodybuilders have been adding oatmeal to protein shakes for years. Some even dump the raw uncooked oats right into the blender with their protein powder. That works in a pinch but we prefer to nuke it first, then chill. Just add a serving or two of cooked and chilled oatmeal into your favorite MRP or low carb protein powder.

If you want a real treat, try our recipe for oatmeal-shake pudding:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup of old fashioned oatmeal (no flavored stuff)
  • 1 or 2 servings of either vanilla Classic Grow! or Low-Carb Grow!
  • 1/2 to 1 serving of cottage cheese
  • Cold water
  • Splenda sweetener (optional)

Cook oatmeal (a couple of minutes in the microwave works fine) and then chill it in the fridge. Blend MRP and cottage cheese together using very little water plus a few ice cubes. Pour over cold oatmeal and stir. Add raisins and cinnamon if you want. Yummy.

The Famous Lazy Bastard Protein Pudding

Ths is for guys who don't like messing around with too many ingredients because it's half-time and the game's going to resume any any minute.

  • 2 scoops Low-Carb Grow! or Classic Grow!
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of your favorite Jell-O brand sugar-free instant pudding
  • Five ice cubes
  • Cold water

Blend Grow! as directions call for, but use about 3 ounces less water than you might ordinarily. Add pudding and ice cubes and blend for about 45 to 60 seconds.

Anti-Catabolic Nighttime Shakes

To keep from losing muscle during the eight hour fast we call sleep, it might be a good idea to consume some slow-digesting protein before bed. A small low carb shake with the right ingredients works great for this. Here are two recipes:

  • 2 scoops of Low Carb Grow!
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed oil or Udo's Choice
  • Cold water
  • Optional – Use 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and only one scoop of Low-Carb Grow!

Blend this one up thick which may help slow digestion (and it'll also keep you from getting up and peeing all night!)

Another option is to skip the oil and add fiber. This one below tastes like melted orange sherbet.

  • 1 scoop of Low Carb Grow!
  • 1 cup of low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 serving of orange flavored Metamucil, smooth variety
  • Cold water

Banana Split Shake

  • 2-3 scoops Vanilla Classic Grow! or Low-Carb Grow!
  • Banana, pineapple, fresh or frozen strawberries
  • Cold water or skim milk

Blend and eat. If using frozen strawberries and canned pineapple, be sure to use the kind without syrup. For a change of pace, blend it up thick with half a cup of cottage cheese, then freeze for an "almost-ice cream" treat.

The Snowstorm

Kinda like those ice cream treats you get at Dairy Queen and McDonalds, only this one will help you get muscular, not porky.

  • 1 scoop of either Classic Grow! or Low-Carb Grow!
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fat free or low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 food bar like the new Grow! bars
  • Cold water or skim milk
  • A dash of Splenda (optional)

Blend cottage cheese with protein powder in skim milk using very little water and ice cubes. Stir in crumbled up Grow! bar and chill. You won't believe you're eating something that's healthy! You can make a variety of flavors depending on the flavor of the protein powder and food bar used.

Key Lime Pie

We drink this one whenever we're down in Florida harassing coeds and talking them into competing in wet T-shirt contests.

  • 2 scoops Vanilla Low-Carb Grow!
  • Cold water or skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp. frozen lime juice
  • 1 Graham Cracker
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend Grow! according to directions. Then add in remaning ingredients and blend until smooth.

Death by Chocolate

Like Chocolate? Ha! You don't know what you're in for.

  • 2 scoops chocolate Low-Carb Grow!
  • Cold water or skim milk
  • 1 packet Swiss Miss fat-free hot cocoa mix
  • 3 ice cubes

Blend Grow! according to directions. Add packet of Swiss Miss and blend for an additional 10 seconds or so. Add ice cubes and blend 'till the blender doesn't sound like it's going to explode from the meteorite shower of ice fragments.

Batchelor Party Dip

This one combines women and nutrition. What more could you ask for?

  • 1 beautiful naked woman
  • 1 scoop vanilla Classic Grow! or Low-Carb Grow!
  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • carrots, sliced
  • apples, sliced

Take beautiful naked woman and have her lie face up on a long banquet table. Arrange carrot and apple slices around her in a decorative display. Hand mix almond butter and Grow! together to make a creamy dip, adding a small amount of water if necessary to achieve proper consistency. Place dollops of dip on woman in strategic areas. Use carrots or apple slices to scoop up some dip.

Optional, lonely man recipe variation:

Everything's the same, except you omit the beautiful naked woman.

Get Laid Quick Dessert

This one was sent to us from new T-mag contributor, George Baselice. It's sure to impress your date to such a degree that the panties will hit the floor before she finishes the last spoonful.

  • 1-2 scoops chocolate Classic Grow! or Low-Carb Grow!
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Cool Whip Lite
  • 1 crushed Graham cracker
  • 1 sliced frozen banana

Mix Grow! and Cool Whip together to create the consistency of pudding. Spoon mixture into a champagne glass and top with crushed Graham Crackers and frozen banana. Have CD player queued up to play Barry White's "Love Serenade."

The preceding were only a few of the hundreds of recipes we've got stashed away. We encourage you to try your own, too, and if you come up with something really tasty, send it our way. One word of advice, though: don't bother blending up lunch meats or any type of fish; it just doesn't work very well.

Grow! Tips

  • If you want a thicker shake, use less milk or water. If you want a thinner shake, use more milk or water.
  • Add ingredients to blender one at a time to ensure a smoother shake.
  • If you prefer an ice-cream like shake, add more ice.
  • Use cold water if you're concerned about calories; use skim milk if you're not concerned about calories.