The Arnold Schwarzenegger Protein Shake

Posted October 14, 2010 in Bodybuilding, Diet, Recipes 21 Comments »

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a tank. He instinctively knew how to eat and how to train. His philosophy on whole food meals and snacks are accepted today as the best way to construct a weight gain diet, a fat loss diet, or even a regular healthy diet for a non-athlete. The famous Arnold Schwarzenegger protein shake will be sure to put muscle on anyone’s back.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

From the earliest reports on his nutritional theories, Arnold believed that the average person needs a half of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, and that a bodybuilder needs at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. However, he did not recommend drinking 4 glasses of protein powder mixed with water to get all of that protein, and neither do I.

The Importance of Whole Foods

As early as the 1960’s, Arnold recommended animal protein sources such as meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs. These were considered the best whole food protein sources for bodybuilders, and he thought it was important for bodybuilders to get more of their protein from whole foods.

Arnold also emphasized the importance of vitamins and minerals in his diet and he reportedly took vitamin and mineral supplements to fortify the nutritional content of his whole food diet. This was particularly important during growth phases or periods of intense training, when the body’s needs for nutrients are at their peak, at least for men.

The Six Meal, Meal Plan

Protein Powder
Optimum Nutrition
Protein Powder

The Oak must have been able to see into the future, because he preached a diet consisting of six meals a day broken up into three large whole food meals and three smaller whole food snacks. I have been writing about the 3 meal, 3 snack meal plan for years now, but honestly I didn’t learn the strategy from Arnold. In today’s fitness world that is now a widely accepted meal plan structure for gaining muscle and even for losing fat.

Arnie regularly consumed upwards of 5000 calories a day and over 300 grams of protein. So how did he get that much protein and that many calories into his daily diet using only whole foods?

I reveal to you now the highly anticipated Arnold Schwarzenegger Protein Shake!

The Recipes

Easy instructions: combine all ingredients in a blender.

The Original Arnold Protein Shake:

Arnold Protein Shake

The Arnold Fat Loss Shake (customized by Project Swole):

  • two cups of skim milk
  • 1 ounce of protein powder isolate
  • two large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup fat free, sugar free ice cream, flavored as desired

Arnold Fat Loss Shake


Blend the ingredients, pour into a cup, consume.

These whole food protein shakes were often used in place of snacks and you can use them in place of your snacks too. The original recipe can probably be used in place of a meal for those of you who enjoy protein shakes for breakfast.

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21 Responses to “The Arnold Schwarzenegger Protein Shake”

  1. Arnold is great but I really want to know that protein is good or calories is good for gaining lots of muscles.


      Non-fat dry milk or powdered milk is a dairy product from which all liquids and fats have been removed. It was developed in Russia in the early 19th century, and since then, it’s become a staple in many households, and is used in a variety of ways.

      In some countries, particularly where shipping costs are prohibitive or few dairy cows exist, non-fat dry milk may be more common that standard liquid milk. In developing countries where access to refrigeration is limited, powdered milk can last much longer and tends to be much less expensive since it is easier to transport. Even in developed countries, city dwellers may turn to using non-fat dry milk instead of liquid milk because it tends to be significantly less expensive.

  2. This is really cool, good post Steve. Could the ProjectSwole Fat Loss shake still be used to bulk? I really like this idea, but the fat and cholesterol have me worried in the original shake. Or is that the whole point of it?


  3. The Arnold Schwarzenegger Protein Shake | Project Swole…

    Looking to gain some serious muscle like Arnold? You say you don’t like traditional protein shakes? Well then try this classic whole-foods protein shake that the Austrian Oak used to bulk up to Olympi……

    • There is plenty of cholesterol and sugar in the Arnold Shake. I don’t think Arnold really cared. Cholesterol helps make hormones like testosterone and estrogen, so unless you already have an unhealthy high cholesterol level you really don’t need to worry. Sugar content is a little high in the original, but it’s more of a mass gaining shake anyway. Like I said, Arnold didn’t seem to care.

        • Definitely raw. If you cook the egg white first it will probably make the shake chunky and disgusting. Maybe the blender would fix it, but I don’t even want to try.

    • Egg beaters and egg whites are the same thing. I usually prefer to have a yolk mixed in with my whites, but egg beaters are pretty convenient and are much safer if you are going to swallow them raw.

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