Every time I go to the gym the first thing I see on their shelves are all these protein shakes. Before I would just pass by it and think I don’t need it for myself. Time goes by and as I become more engaged in my workout routine I want to explore anything that will help me towards my fitness goals. Curiosity came to me and I gave a thought about why these protein shakes are made in the first place.
I found out that protein is an important key factor in building our muscles. At first, I thought these shakes are only meant for men who want to be bulky as a hulk. I told myself I don’t want to look like a body-builder! Then again I was wrong. It is recommended for all people who do resistance training and lifting weights. It helps repair, maintain and promote muscle synthesis.
Protein sources are best coming from whole foods like fish, chicken or beef. Ideally, it would be nice to ingest protein in an organic way. However, due to busy schedules, it’s not going to happen as you hope you would. It’s been almost a year since I started meal prepping but to be honest I am not consistent all the time. Doing meal preps devotes time and effort. Time is always the challenge for me.
Protein shake has been my savior in making sure I get the amount I need for the day. But finding the right protein shake wasn’t that easy for me. Sure thing there are many shakes out there on the market. But I have to find the one that suits my taste and needs. Apparently, it took me almost a year to accept that I can’t take anything with dairy, soy, gluten or lactose anymore. After 1 million gasses I passed every day and about ten thousand inches added to my waistline due to bloating every time I take the forbidden stuff, I surrendered. If you think I just try to follow the health fad, well be my guest. Believe me, I hate it. I love milk and the like but I guess I don’t have a choice but to avoid them.
After accepting my sensitivity issues I bought a protein shake that is plant-based. On the other hand, my next dilemma was sticking to its taste. Don’t get me wrong it tastes just fine. But mixing protein powder and water alone isn’t that enticing for me. It’s flat and boring. I just feel forced to drink it every time. Somehow my love for milk and cream is growling at its core. I began trying almond milk and no luck. Tried soy milk again and of course, back to the gas embarrassment. One day, as I miserably walk down the milk aisle of the grocery store, there’s one small section that I’ve never given notice. On the display, I saw the cashew milk cartons. I am not hopeful at first but I gave it a try anyway. Ahoy! It was a success. Even though I have very subtle cramps along with it, at least the embarrassing part is not present. I was so glad that I finally found the perfect concoction for my drink.
From time to time I would add fruits to my shake to make it more flavorful.
- choco + banana
- choco + strawberry
- choco + peanut butter powder + cocoa
- vanilla + avocado
- vanilla + strawberries
- vanilla + strawberries + banana
- vanilla + matcha powder
- vanilla + peanut butter powder + peanuts
I use a single serve personal blender for my shakes. It is helpful if you want to add fruits. It saves a lot of time and effort from using the regular size blender. The plus side is that the blender happens to be your container as well. Speaking of hitting two birds with one stone right?
I prepare my protein shake before I head out to the gym. I put my gym bag, protein shake and the rest of my stuff inside the gym locker. Right after I’m done with my workout, I would immediately drink my prepared shake. It is recommended to have at least 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes to 1-hour post workout because of what they call the muscle-protein synthesis is at its peak during this time period. Protein source from shakes are liquid and is easily digested within minutes. That is the reason why they are popular with regular gym goers.
Apart from my protein shake I replenish with a good post workout meal from whole food sources such as beef, chicken or fish and add carbohydrates with a low glycemic index such as sweet potato or vegetables for better restoration and muscle development.
I feel at my best whenever I do all these for myself. Healthy living is the best that you can do for yourself. It gives you more energy, boosts confidence and even makes you feel young. And mind you, cheat days are more satisfying!
Anyway, here are the ones I use for my protein shake available at Amazon:
I can’t wait for my next workout and for my next protein shake concoction! Bottoms up!