protein shakes

Protein Shake Recipes – Introduction

A protein shake is also called a smoothie when you add fruit to them. Most people do a pretty good job of fueling their body before a workout but what about afterwards? You will have put your body through a lot and it is now time to replace the burned energy and give your muscle the nutrients they need to rebuild. Your muscles do not grow while you lift. That happens much later and the process begins when you leave the gym.

protein shakeWithin 30 minutes of dropping your last weight, you need to eat lean protein to help rebuild muscles and some carbs to replenish glycogen. Research has shown that your muscle repair process will speed up continuously until its peak at 24 hours after you finish. It will then slow down to normal levels in the next 12 hours beyond that. Needless to say, eat well for the next day and a half to help build your body properly.

When you eat carbohydrates, glucose (the building block of carbs) that is not used right away is stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen, your main energy source. Eating a low-carb diet in your post-workout meal will cause your body to break down muscle tissue to fuel itself. That would be rather counter-productive for building muscle.

Healthy fats are a key part of proper nutrition but not in your post-workout food. Dietary fat will slow down the carbohydrate and protein absorption as well as the anabolic effects of insulin in your.

The most effective way to consume nutrients that your body will use right away is to use a smoothie with the right balance of protein and carbs.

  1. Smoothie Ingredients 

protein shakesa) Protein

Protein is the main purpose of using a shake as a post workout drink. The source of the protein is important in order to get a good absorption rate to feed hungry muscles. The most common source is whey protein powder which can be found in three forms: regular, isolate and hydrolysate. For a comparison of the three forms, see the article on protein for athletes. Other whole food based forms of protein you can use are:

  • Almond butter
  • Almond milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt or milk
  • Nonfat or low-fat plain kefir
  • Peanut butter
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

b) Fruit

Use fresh, frozen or canned fruit but double check for added sugar or syrup that will add calories.

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

pre workout snacksc) Healthy Add-ins

For added flavor and nutrition, use different spices and taste combinations.

  • Chia seed
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coconut
  • Flaxseed
  • Rolled oats
  • Spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg

d) Vegetables
For a great change of pace, try your favorite vegetable! Raw vegetables may be an issue in a blender depending on their texture. Blending them first (alone) then straining will help.

Avocado – great for healthy oils
Carrot
Cucumber
Kale
Spinach

2. Protein Shake Ingredients to Avoid

protein shakesSugar and saturated fats are definitely items to avoid. Look for the “hidden” sugar that goes by other names like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and glucose/fructose/sucrose and other compounds ending in “ose”.

    • Flavored yogurt (low fat, plain is okay)
    • Full-fat dairy or coconut milk
    • Ice cream
    • Sherbet
    • Sorbet
    • Sweetened juice

3. Recipes
I have compiled a large number of smoothie recipes from a number of sources and created a lot of them myself. In each case, the quantities can be modified to suit your own personal taste. Substitute the liquid portion of the recipe 1:1 with your favorite choice – coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, dairy milk, juice or just plain water. Realize that when you change the ingredient, you may drastically change the taste!

Each week, I will post several recipes from my book. If you would like to purchase the book and receive all of them at once, you can find it HERE.

If you have a recipe that is different than what you see here and you would like to have it included, send it to me at fuelthehunger@sasktel.net and I will give you full credit.

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