recipe marathon runners high protein recovery shake

Packed with protein and carbohydrates, this fat-free shake will help you recover after a long run. It contains tart cherry juice, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and also can help with sleep. We recommend drinking an eight-ounce serving after a long run. For added carbs after a particularly long run, pair this shake with a granola bar or even blend some granola directly into the shake.


  • 1/4 cup whey, soy, or pea protein isolate (vanilla or unflavored)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup tart cherry juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey


Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour 8 oz into a glass for one serving, and refrigerate the rest.

Change it up!

  • Add blueberries instead of strawberries
  • Substitute pineapple for banana
  • Use half tart cherry juice and half orange juice
  • Add granola for added carbs
Nutritional Information for High-Protein Recovery Shake

This is the third article in a 3-part series of recipes designed for marathon runners by Leslie Bonci, R.D., UPMC Sports Medicine’s director of sports nutrition.

Ms. Bonci is a nutrition consultant to organizations in Pittsburgh and nationwide, including Pittsburgh’s own Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates. Among her many other roles, she has authored or co-authored several sports nutrition books, including Run Your Butt Off, and serves on the editorial advisory board of Fitness magazine.

An avid runner herself, Leslie has completed SEVEN marathons!

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Sports and physical activity bring with them a potential for injury. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury – or improve athletic performance – UPMC Sports Medicine and the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program can help. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our experts partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and about 100 other high school, college, and regional teams and events throughout Pennsylvania – working daily to build better athletes.