Drinking a protein shake after a workout is one of the best ways to give your muscles the amino acids they need to rebuild and recover. (Review STACK's post-workout meal guidelines.) However, if you have nothing but protein, you will fail to complete the post-workout nutrition formula. Plus, who wants to drink protein powder mixed with water?
Instead, make a shake that includes protein mixed with some fruit and milk. This delicious combination provides fast-acting carbs from fruit to replenish depleted energy stores (glycogen), accelerate the recovery process and prevent muscle breakdown. Also, milk provides essential vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and calcium, to ensure your body will be ready for your next workout, and to improve your overall health. (Find out how to supplement your diet.)
Drink the following shake within 30 to 45 minutes after your workout, when your muscles are primed to quickly use the influx of nutrients.
- 1 scoop of your favorite whey protein powder (20-25 grams)
- 1/2-1 cup of water, low-fat milk, rice milk or almond milk (I recommend 2% or low-fat milk to make sure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs; if you cannot drink milk, try rice milk or almond milk)
- 1/2 cup of oats to replenish muscle glycogen stores
- 1/2-1 cup of blueberries, strawberries or cherries, or 1 banana
- Add ice and blend