This month, the coaches of Breaking Muscle UK were asked to consider strength as the focus of our articles. This is pretty easy for me to cover as a recipe contributor, as my advice for building strength is simple: fuel your workouts properly to get the best results in the gym.


Chocolate milk is a popular and convenient choice for pre-workout fuel. And a quick hit of sugar and some easy-to-digest protein does check some of the boxes for a solid pre-workout shake. But why buy a bottle of engineered-to-last-a-year, store-bought crap when you can make it yourself? If it’s strength and health you’re after, we can do far better with some nutrient-dense but just as delicious ingredients.


Inspired by a simple homemade chocolate milk recipe of cocoa powder, icing sugar, and a drop of vanilla extract, enter The Best DIY Pre-Workout Shake. Instead of sugar, this recipe uses a ripe banana for a sweet hit of carbohydrate and an added potassium boost to stop you cramping mid-workout. I've also mixed in almonds to maximise your energy levels and pack an extra punch of protein and magnesium.


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For the final flourish, I've added chocolate’s best bedfellow, coffee, for a perfect pre-workout pick-me-up. Enjoy.


The Best DIY Pre-Workout Shake

The Ultimate DIY Pre-Workout Shake


Prep Time: 2 mins

Cook Time: N/A

Yield: 1



  • 1 ripe banana
  • 300ml milk of your choice
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 20 whole almonds, or 1 dessert spoon of almond butter
  • 1 shot of espresso or your favourite freeze dried coffee dissolved in a little boiling water
  • Dash of vanilla essence



  1. Load all the ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend until thick and creamy.
  3. Boom. Done.


This article was originally published on Breaking Muscle UK.


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Photo courtesy of Tim Harrison.