The post workout shake is the gold standard of fitness. It is told to every gym goer that a post workout protein shake is as essential to a successful fitness regime as the workout content itself. If you are looking to gain muscle, then this is the way to go. But if you are trying to reach a fat loss goal, then it could be ruining you your diet.
Regardless of whether you are an experienced lifter or new to fitness and looking to start an epic workout regime, everyone has heard of the post workout shake. Pretty much as soon as you get your first induction on the use of gym equipment, you are told how you should be finishing off your last set of reps with a protein shake.
It has become the law of workouts and something that everyone thinks is completely necessary in order to succeed in terms of your workout goals. The problem is, it is all well and good if you are an experienced gym user with a good idea about proper nutrition. But for those who are looking to simply lose weight and tone up and haven’t had much experience with fitness, a post workout shake could actually be more of a hinderance to your diet than a help.
There are three main mistakes people make time and time again when it comes to the post workout shake which I want to bring your attention to as well as how you can fix them.
Mistake Number One: Sugar Overload
For years now we have been pushed to get that post workout shake in, in that small window of time when all the carbs will be quickly broken down and sent to your muscles, in order to help you get those epic gains.
However, many protein shake and smoothie recipes designed to aid the ultimate muscle recovery and growth are calling for nutella, peanut butter and fruit juices to be combined in your shake. I hate to break it to you, but these contain serious sugar and calorie contents and can easily take up 75% of your daily caloric intake in one shake.
Plus, although these may quickly replenish your carb stores, you aren’t going to feel full for very long. Let’s face it, if your daily calorie allowance is 1200 and your post workout shake comes out at a whopping 800 calories plus, you aren’t leaving yourself much room for the rest of the day.
Mistake Number Two: Your Shake is Your Main Meal
For many people who use post workout shakes, they use this as their biggest meal of the day. They pile all of their calories and half of their kitchen into a blender. The problem is, thus means your daily calories are being distributed totally unevenly. This can be a total killer for your diet especially if you workout first thing in the morning.
By piling most of your calories into one meal you are left feeling ridiculously hungry for the entire day and often completely exhausted.
Mistake Number Three: Believing You Need a Post Workout Shake
It has been pushed so much that everyone believes the only way to get gains is by demolishing a high calorie, sugar packed shake the minute their workout is over. But this is not the case!
You can aid recovery and promote muscle growth just as well with a well balanced daily diet of whole foods. This will ensure you're not hungry throughout the day unlike a diet where your main meal is in liquid form.
By choosing a whole food post workout meal, you can choose an option which is packed with fibre. This will help to slow down your digestion meaning you will feel fuller for longer. Even if you're packing your post workout shake with fruit or oats, by blending them, they become less starchy.
In order to aid recovery and promote fullness, try a plate of lean protein, lots and lots of vegetables and healthy carbs as well as plenty of water. Spreading this out across the day will help distribute your calories evenly.