Vanilla Protein Smoothie

Most of us know that working out is good for us and keeps our bodies and minds healthy. But did you know that the kind of foods you eat and when you eat them matter just as much as the workout itself in building body composition?

During a workout, the muscles in our bodies use stores of glucose and ATP to move and perform. The heavy loading of the muscles actually tear or break down muscle fibers, stimulating them to then regrow bigger and stronger.

But for your muscles to be able to actually get bigger, stronger, and faster, the right building blocks and nutrients must be there, ready to repair and strengthen. Where does your body get these building blocks? From the foods you eat! Without the right fuel to rebuild muscle, replenish glycogen stores, and restore lactic acid, your body cannot heal or grow. (the same concept applies to overall well-being, really, but for the sake of this post we are focusing on athletic performance).

The nutrition you consume immediately after a workout is critical in providing the right nutrients your body needs to rebuild and repair your muscles that have been broken down in working out. Good, whole sources of protein and carbohydrates within 15-30 minutes after a workout provide the necessary amino acids for protein synthesis and the much-needed glucose for replenishing lost stores in the muscles.

Workout shakes you find in the store are filled with unnatural, processed proteins and sugars. While these shakes are convenient when time is of the essence for your muscles, they are generally more detrimental to your health in the long run (take if from someone who lived on those things for two years as a collegiate athlete and only experienced an increasing number of health problems--anemia, asthma, allergies, etc.). WHOLE, NUTRIENT-DENSE proteins such as chicken, salmon, eggs, and seafood are made of the same building blocks as our OWN bodies and can be broken down easily and used for rebuilding muscles, joints, and bones. Consuming these kinds of protein, as well as nutritious carbohydrates, is an optimal nutrition program for maximizing performance.

I usually come home from the gym and blend up a protein shake. My goals include weight gain and fluids make it easier to get in more calories. I use REAL WHEY as a protein source, dripped from homemade yogurt or sour cream. This whey provides a quick-digesting protein source that can be used quickly by the muscles. About an hour later, I will eat another meal rich in whole proteins and carbohydrates--usually some lean meat and cooked vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, and beets, which are carb dense vegetables. Cabbage, onions, peppers, cauliflower, and other vegetables are a good source of carbohydrates packed with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that will aid in the digestion and use of meats by the body. Fruit is a decent source of carbohydrates but provides more sucrose than glucose and as such is not as productive for a post workout meal.

Okay--that was a lot of info. Long story short,

Building body composition requires consuming good, whole sources of protein and carbohydrates from eggs, poultry, seafood, and other lean meats after a workout.

This protein shake is a great way to get in an extra meal with the right proteins and carbohydrates and is usually just what I crave after a summer workout--cold, refreshing, and REFUELING!

post workout vanilla smoothie

Vanilla Protein Smoothie
Author: Amy MoffatPrep time: 2 minServings: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup blended ice (about 10 ice cubes)
1/2 c homemade ice cream or frozen cooked squash (pumpkin, butternut squash, etc.)
1 cup whey from homemade yogurt
1 pastured egg (from a source you trust)
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Place yogurt in a cheese cloth or thin strainer over a bowl
Place in the refrigerator and let it drip out the whey for about 4 hours
In a bowl, combine strained yogurt, raspberries, and honey
Whisk vigorously with a fork
Top with raspberries, pecans, shaved coconut--whatever you'd like!--and serve!

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