High-Protein, No-Added-Sugar Breakfast Shake

Glass of Smoothie with plant milk and espresso
Westend61 / Getty Images
Total Time: 3 min
Prep Time: 3 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 1

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

230 calories
10g fat
13g carbs
23g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving  
Calories 230
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 148mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g  
Includes 3g Added Sugars 6%
Protein 23g  
Vitamin D 1mcg 5%
Calcium 347mg 27%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 422mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Protein shakes are all the rage, but they can be loaded with sugar. This high-protein, no-sugar-added breakfast shake recipe has it all: The coffee helps to get you going (but you can use decaf, if you prefer), and the coconut milk helps keep you going through the morning (with its medium-chain fatty acids). And it offers these benefits all while remaining free from added sugars.

As an added boost, the ​flaxseed meal adds fiber and lots of other quality nutrients like antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds are high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese and are high in ALA omega-3 fatty acids (also found in chia seeds and walnuts), which help fight inflammation.

Flaxseeds are also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber and have been shown to have cholesterol-lowering effects. Dietary fiber helps stabilize blood sugar and promotes healthy functioning of the intestines.

A bit of protein in the morning or when the afternoon lull hits can be exactly what you need to get a boost of energy. Protein powder is a quick and easy way to get a serving of protein, especially when incorporated in a delicious and nutritious shake.


  • 1 cup coffee (cold)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 3 ice cubes


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.

  2. Blend until creamy.

Variations and Substitutions

Note that the type of protein powder you choose can greatly affect the nutritional value of your smoothie. You can use a dairy- or plant-based protein blend, but be sure to look for an unsweetened product if you're watching your sugar intake. If your preferred protein powder contains a sweetener, omit the stevia.

The nutrition information provided uses canned coconut milk, but you can use a bottled coconut milk product if you prefer—just be on the lookout for added sugars. Smoothies are incredibly versatile. While this recipe calls for full-fat coconut milk for an extra creamy consistency, you can use any type of milk you prefer, such as almond milk, cow's milk, cashew, oat milk, or goat's milk.

You can also substitute another type of fiber for the flaxseed, such as a fiber supplement, psyllium husk, or even other seeds like chia.

Another sugar replacement may be also used, such as monk fruit sweetener, or it may be omitted entirely.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • While using a blender will result in the smoothest consistency (as well as added thickness from the blended ice), you can make this smoothie in a shaker cup as well. Simply omit the ice.
  • Serve this smoothie alongside some fruit or oatmeal for a complete breakfast.

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3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Natto ZS, Yaghmoor W, Alshaeri HK, Van Dyke TE. Omega-3 fatty acids effects on inflammatory biomarkers and lipid profiles among diabetic and cardiovascular disease patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific Reports. 2019;9(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-54535-x

  2. Edel AL, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Maddaford TG, et al. Dietary flaxseed independently lowers circulating cholesterol and lowers it beyond the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications alone in patients with peripheral artery disease. The Journal of Nutrition. 2015;145(4):749-757. doi:10.3945/jn.114.204594

  3. Chen C, Zeng Y, Xu J, et al. Therapeutic effects of soluble dietary fiber consumption on type 2 diabetes mellitusExp Ther Med. 2016;12(2):1232-1242. doi:10.3892/etm.2016.3377

By Team Verywell Fit
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