Whether or not protein shakes do what they’re supposed to, promote the building of muscles after a bodybuilding session, bodybuilders still swear by them. Just like the controversies over the health benefits of milk and eggs, some people say protein shakes work, and some say they don’t.
The thing is, whether a protein shake really helps you grow bigger muscles after lifting or not, it still boosts your metabolism, and it’s not harming you at all. So, why not keep up with the post-workout shake, unless you don’t like the taste (there are plenty of recipes that may change your mind).
What Protein Shakes Do Post Workout
Even if you’re not a bodybuilder, protein shakes can be a great addition to your workout routine. The body burns more calories than normal when digesting protein, which makes it a great weight loss food when eaten in moderation and at the right time.
Have some small protein-rich meals after workouts, especially intense ones. Don’t cram yourself fully. One protein shake after your workout is enough to sustain you for a couple of hours before eating another small protein meal or snack. If you overload on food, protein or otherwise, you’re going to defeat the purpose of working out in the first place.
The idea of protein shakes, as opposed to a protein-rich meal, is the fact that you can get a good deal of protein in something that’s quicker to make and eat. When you’re busy with working out, raising kids, and going to your day job, that doesn’t leave a ton of time to make a meal.
Why Do Bodybuilders Use Protein Shakes?
Protein shake mixes are generally marketed toward bodybuilders. There is a reason for this. It’s what’s in the proteins and what those things can do for the body that makes them so popular as a post workout shake ingredient.
Part of the production of muscles in the bottom begins with the intake of protein. Other things protein does inside the human body is to manufacture enzymes and hormones. Protein helps generate cells, organs, and tissue. It’s healing. It boosts the immune system.
Protein is all all-around good thing for the body, and bodybuilders want a “little” more of it because it heals tears in the muscles that happen when bodybuilding. Taking it in shake form gets those healing properties to the muscles faster, since the body doesn’t have to take as much time breaking it down like solid foods.
Picking the Right Proteins
The most commonly used protein supplement for bodybuilders is whey protein (derived from dairy). Proteins with a higher BV (Biological Value) are digested better. That means they are more quick to get the job done you want them to do as your post-workout meal.
You want a complete protein with a high BV. This way you get all the amino acids possible to help build more muscle. It’s suggested you take in one gram of protein for each pound you weigh.
A Few Great Post Workout Shakes
When you’re done with your workout, get a shake in you immediately. Every three or four hours after that you want to take in a small high-protein meal. Usually about three boosts of protein total post workout.
If you’re not partial to the flavor of protein shakes you mix from a packet, here are some recipes that will have you enjoying your post workout protein shake.
1. Peanut Butter Protein Shake
Peanut butter contains protein, and it’s a great snack food that can give you a boost of energy (especially after a workout).
There are a few different options for your mixture. Pick vanilla protein powder, or you can add a kick with chocolate flavored. Toss in two heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter, some probiotic-rich yogurt (Greek is best unless you need dairy-free). Consider adding a banana for a boost of potassium. Top off with almond milk and blend.
2. Creamy Strawberry Protein Shake
If you want something fruity, with a kick of antioxidants, strawberries and cream shake, using that flavor of protein shake (or vanilla, if your brand doesn’t have that flavor), will give you taste and vitamins.
Mix the powder with almond milk, rolled oats, strawberries, and a scoop of Greek yogurt. How much of everything you use is up to you and your blender.
3. Pina Colada Protein Shake
If you want something even more fruity, mix protein powder (banana, vanilla, or even coconut flavored) with almond milk, Greek yogurt, a banana, a little fresh pineapple, and some shredded coconut.
Post Workout Shake Don’t Have to Taste Bad
Many people shudder when they think about having a post workout shake. Have no fear, with a little creative blending you can make that powder delicious.