It’s no secret that protein shakes are an excellent way to reach your daily intake needs and goals for protein and other nutrients.
A proper protein supplement is a staple of many athletes’ diets but what you add to the mix can greatly improve the nutritional benefit of your post-workout or morning shake. I would also recommend checking out how to gain muscle for skinny guys and get a solid workout plan.
Whey protein digests easily and quickly, is very easy on taste and is rich in the amino acid leucine, which plays a key role in initiating protein synthesis. While a healthy whey supplement is great on its own to up your intake and support recovery and muscular development, adding fresh ingredients that are beneficial in their whole form can supercharge your shake and give you body what it needs to maximize growth and optimize recovery.
The same principles apply to a morning shake, which can do a great deal to jump start your metabolism and get your brain firing on all cylinders first thing in the morning.
Growth happens not in the gym, but during recovery. Rest, stretching, hydration, sleep and nutrition all combine to either maximize your recovery or be the reason you’re falling short of your goals. One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to help yourself in this regard is adding a nutrition packed protein shake to your immediate post-workout routine.
Your body needs more than just protein after a workout to truly put your best foot forward to your recovery. Even the best protein supplement can be improved upon by using fresh fruit to your shake to give it some additional vitamins and minerals.
Post Workout Protein Shake Timing
If you’re exercising vigorously, it is critical that you respect your timing when it comes to nutrition. 30 minutes is the ideal window in which you need to fuel your body with protein and some quick digesting carbohydrates to drive the protein synthesis process and begin your road to optimized growth and speedy recovery.
Pick Your Base For Your Post Workout Protein
A number of body builders use milk for the additional protein and creamier taste but for many people this is not ideal as milk can cause gas, indigestion, and congestion. Other concerns with drinking commercial milk have arisen in recent years including the antibiotic contents from treating over-milked cows. Many cows are also treated with hormones, which bears a number of well-documented risks to your health. So, in the interest of your digestion and overall health it’s especially important that your liquid base (if you must use milk) and your whey protein come from hormone free cows.
If you’re bored of using water for your protein shakes, you should consider coconut water, which contains potassium and provides a natural source of electrolytes.
Bananas are rich in potassium and can serve as the perfect post-workout carbohydrate to raise blood glucose and in turn trigger insulin release. This combination of insulin circulating along with glucose refill critical glycogen levels in the liver and muscle. This key carbohydrate helps your body use the protein you’re taking in.
Despite some confusion on this topic, fruit does in fact contain sugar, so while some people think it’s great to stuff your diet full of fruit based simply on the fact that it’s natural, there is a healthy balance that should be achieved in the interest of managing your overall sugar intake to reach body composition and fat loss goals. At the end of the day, too much sugar is bad and will add body fat. This goes especially for those trying to lose weight. Berries are packed with anti-oxidants and have manageable levels of sugars.
Kale is recognized for providing support to the body’s detoxification system and contains 45 different flavonoids, providing both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, kale is packed with vitamins K, A, C, and a number of other essential minerals. For these reasons, kale is among the healthiest foods on earth.
We get it. Kale isn’t the most palatable vegetable in the world. However, if you’re serious about your fitness and nutrition, you’re wasting your time and selling your body short if you’re not eating this nutrient-rich powerhouse of a superfood. This leafy fibrous boss of a vegetable can make up for some major holes in your nutrition regimen.
One trick with kale is that if you hold the stocks on the thick end and wrap your forefinger around the stock, and pull downward towards the tip of the leaf, the leaf, desirable portion of the kale will come off fairly easily. You don’t need to eat the stocks.
You’ve probably heard by now that peanuts are not actually nuts, but are actually legumes. What is important to note about this food group is that generally speaking beans require additional processing to be digested and are not actually necessary at all to a healthy human diet. Peanuts, while popular among many bodybuilders for their protein content, fall into this category. However, there is hope. Almond, sunflower seed and cashew butters are not only healthier but are delicious. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for this healthier step.
A tablespoon or two of nut butters are a great addition to a shake and are a good slow digesting protein that will continue to fuel your body’s protein needs for an extended period. For this reason, a tablespoon of almond butter can be a great snack before bed.
Add-Ons and Bonuses For Post Workout Protein
You should consider including fish oil in your diet regardless of your fitness and health goals. This naturally produced supplement is rich in omega 3 fatty acids that do wonders for battling the normal inflammation caused by lifting and other exercise.
Post Workout Protein Powder -The Right Whey
The critical ingredient to a post workout shake is whey protein and which one you choose makes all the difference.
Whey protein has been a staple of bodybuilders diets for years and years, but the rest of the fitness and health community has caught on and whey has been firmly established as the king of protein powders. However, not all whey supplements are created equal.
Paying extra for 50g servings or double dosing to add in tons of protein to your shake is not only unnecessary but it’s wasteful. At the very maximum, your body can digest about 30g of protein in a sitting, with slight variance based on your size, weight, and metabolism. It’s not uncommon to make this mistake, especially when starting out and trying to gain size. So, the idea then is to work your fitness goals into the biology of your digestive system; adding shakes between meals is a great to do this and reach your end goals for each day.
Whey isolate has been established as the highest quality protein for supplementation. For maximum digestibility, it’s best to use a protein powder that is as close to lactose-free as possible. Lactose can cause gas and indigestion and though sensitivity varies to some degree amongst athletes, if it can be avoided, it should.
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Adding the right ingredients to your protein shake, made with a high quality whey protein isolate can supercharge your post workout nutrition and help drive critical nutrients into your system at the right time.