How much protein is in a Smoothie King Gladiator?

Smoothie King’s Gladiator smoothie is one of their most popular high-protein options. With the tagline “Ancient Nutrition for Modern Life,” the Gladiator aims to pack a powerful protein punch for athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone looking to increase their daily protein intake. But just how much protein is actually in a Gladiator smoothie? Let’s take a look at the ingredients and nutrition facts to find out.

Gladiator Smoothie Ingredients

The main ingredients in a Gladiator smoothie are:

  • Whey protein isolate – 25g
  • Soy protein isolate – 25g
  • Organic hemp protein – 15g
  • Organic rice protein – 15g
  • Almond milk
  • Banana
  • Natural flavors

The primary protein sources come from the whey, soy, hemp, and rice proteins. Together, these plant-based and dairy proteins provide a complete amino acid profile.

Whey protein isolate is a high-quality dairy protein that is quickly absorbed. It has about 90% protein by weight.

Soy protein isolate is a complete vegan protein made from defatted soybean flakes. It contains around 90% protein.

Hemp protein provides all nine essential amino acids. It has a nutty flavor and is rich in fiber.

Rice protein is hypoallergenic and contains over 80% protein by weight. It is low in fat and carbs.

In addition to the protein blend, the Gladiator contains banana for natural sweetness, almond milk for creaminess, and natural flavors.

Nutrition Facts for a Gladiator Smoothie

Here are the nutrition facts for a 20 oz Gladiator smoothie from Smoothie King:

Gladiator Nutrition Facts

Nutrient Amount
Calories 460
Total Fat 4.5g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 260mg
Total Carbohydrates 44g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 29g
Protein 80g

As you can see, the Gladiator smoothie delivers a whopping 80 grams of protein per 20 oz serving. That accounts for about 60% of the calories.

This is an exceptionally high amount of protein for a smoothie. For comparison, most other protein smoothies provide 20-40 grams of protein.

Daily Protein Needs

To determine if 80 grams is suitable for your needs, let’s look at the daily protein recommendations for different groups of people:

  • Sedentary adults: 0.8 g protein per kg of body weight
  • Active adults: 1.0-1.5 g per kg
  • Athletes & bodybuilders: 1.2-2.0 g per kg

So for a 150 lb person, that equals:

  • Sedentary: 54 g protein per day
  • Active: 68-102 g per day
  • Athletes & bodybuilders: 82-136 g per day

As you can see, the 80 grams of protein in a Gladiator would cover most or all of the average person’s recommended protein intake. Athletes and bodybuilders with higher needs would need to consume additional protein sources.

Benefits of High-Protein Smoothies

Loading up on protein with smoothies like the Gladiator can provide several benefits:

  • Builds and repairs muscle – Protein provides amino acids that are the building blocks for muscle growth and repair.
  • Fuels workouts – Protein helps maintain energy and endurance for athletic performance.
  • Promotes satiety – Protein is very filling compared to fat and carbs, helping control hunger.
  • Supports weight loss – Protein requires more calories for the body to break down than carbs and fat.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar – Protein slows digestion, preventing energy crashes from carbohydrate-heavy meals.

The whey, soy, hemp and rice proteins in the Gladiator deliver a fast-absorbing and high-quality blend to maximize these benefits.

Potential Downsides of Too Much Protein

While protein is essential, too much can cause some potential issues to be aware of:

  • Intestinal discomfort – High protein intake can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • Dehydration – Digesting protein requires more fluid intake.
  • Kidney problems – People with kidney disease may need to limit protein.
  • Calcium loss – High protein diets increase calcium excretion through urine.
  • Weight gain – Excess calories from protein can be stored as fat if overconsumed.

80 grams at once may be difficult for some people to digest comfortably. Drinking plenty of water and spreading protein intake throughout the day can help mitigate these effects.

Who Should Drink High-Protein Smoothies

Here are some people who can benefit most from a protein-packed smoothie like the Gladiator:

  • Athletes – Extra protein repairs muscles after tough workouts and meets increased needs.
  • Bodybuilders – More protein builds more muscle mass when combined with strength training.
  • Dieters – Protein provides satiety and thermogenic effects to support weight loss.
  • Vegetarians/vegans – Plant proteins help meet higher needs due to lower digestibility.
  • Busy people – Quick protein on-the-go for hectic lifestyles with unpredictable nutrition.
  • Elderly – Higher protein needs to preserve muscle mass with aging.

The convenience and portability of the Gladiator smoothie makes it easy to consume sufficient protein for these groups with busy, active lifestyles.

Is the Gladiator Smoothie Worth It?

At around $8-10 per smoothie, the Gladiator is one of the more expensive options on the Smoothie King menu. Is it worth the price tag for the extra protein?

The main considerations are:

  • Protein content – With 80g protein, the Gladiator offers 2-4 times more than typical smoothies for maximum muscle growth and recovery.
  • Protein sources – The blend of fast-absorbing whey and plant proteins provides a complete, high-quality amino acid profile.
  • Convenience – Getting so much protein in a portable beverage is ideal for on-the-go nutrition.
  • Taste – Reviews praise the Gladiator’s flavor from the banana, almond milk, and natural flavors.
  • Price – At about $0.12 per gram of protein, the Gladiator offers an affordable source compared to supplements.
  • Fillingness – The high protein tides over hunger for hours compared to lower protein options.

Overall, the Gladiator smoothie’s exceptional protein content provides excellent value for the price for athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone seeking to increase their protein intake. The tasty blend of proteins makes it easy to get high quality nutrition on-the-go.

Smoothie King Gladiator Protein Powder

For a more affordable way to get the Gladiator protein punch at home, Smoothie King also offers the same proprietary blend in a powder supplement.

Here are some benefits of the Gladiator protein powder:

  • Much cheaper than smoothies – around $1 per serving vs $8-10 per smoothie.
  • More protein control – scoop powder to customize protein dose.
  • Add to anything – blend into smoothies, oats, yogurt, baked goods.
  • No prep – just mix, no chopping or washing like whole foods.
  • Lasts for months – smoothies expire after a few days.

The Gladiator protein powder provides cost and convenience benefits for anyone looking to regularly consume Smoothie King’s signature high-protein blend.

Gladiator Protein Powder Nutrition

Here are the nutrition facts per scoop (37g) of Gladiator protein powder:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 140
Total Fat 2g
Sodium 140mg
Total Carbs 4g
Sugar 1g
Protein 27g

Like the smoothie, the powder is low in sugar, fat, and carbs, with protein accounting for most of the calories.

The 27 grams of protein per scoop makes it easy to customize your dose. Simply adjust the number of scoops to meet your protein needs.

How to Maximize Protein Absorption

To get the most out of all that protein in a Gladiator smoothie, here are some tips for your body to absorb and utilize it effectively:

  • Consume 20-30g protein per meal – Large amounts at once aren’t fully digested.
  • Spread intake throughout the day – Provide a steady supply for synthesis into muscle.
  • Eat regular carb sources – Helps spare protein for muscle instead of energy.
  • Stay hydrated – Fluid assists protein digestion and transport to muscles.
  • Time with workouts – Take protein shortly before or after exercise to deliver amino acids when muscles need repair.
  • Get enough Vitamin D – Helps regulate protein metabolism for growth and maintenance.
  • Take a probiotic – Supports healthy gut function to break down and absorb dietary protein.

Following these best practices ensures that the proteins in a protein powerhouse like the Smoothie King Gladiator are put to optimal use.

Gladiator Smoothie Recipe

While it’s always convenient to grab a Gladiator smoothie at Smoothie King, you can also make a lower calorie version at home.

Here is a Gladiator smoothie bowl recipe to recreate the flavors and nutrition:


  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a blender, combine banana, almond milk, protein powder, almond butter, flaxseed, hemp seeds, spinach, oats, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with any other desired fruits, nuts, seeds, or granola.

This provides around 20 grams of protein along with healthy fats, carbs, and vitamins. Adjust the protein powder serving to modify the protein content.

The Bottom Line

Smoothie King’s Gladiator smoothie packs a massive amount of high-quality protein into a convenient on-the-go beverage. With 80 grams of protein, it provides more than enough to meet the needs of most athletes and bodybuilders looking to build muscle, recover from workouts, and stave off hunger.

At around $0.12 per gram of protein, the Gladiator offers an affordable and delicious way to supercharge your daily protein intake compared to supplements. While some may find the large protein hit hard to digest, spreading smoothies out across the day can ease any issues.

So if you’re looking to maximize your protein intake and hunger-fighting capacity, the Gladiator smoothie can be a valuable nutritional ally. Let this muscle-building powerhouse help you perform at your peak.

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