The post workout shake is the gold standard fitness supplement. Every gym goer is led to believe it’s as essential to a successful training regime as the workout itself. If you are looking to gain muscle, this is the way forward. Yet, if you are trying to reach a fat loss goal, supplement mistakes could be ruining 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 this post workout beverage. Pretty much as soon as you have your first induction at the gym, you’re told how you should be finishing off your last set of reps with one.
It has become the law of workouts and something everyone thinks is completely necessary in order to succeed in terms of your training goals. This is all well and good if you are an experienced gym user with a solid understanding of proper nutrition.
However, for those with very little fitness experience who are looking to simply lose weight, and tone up—this supplement could actually be more of a hindrance to your diet than a help.
When it comes to the post workout shake, there are three prime mistakes people make time and time again. I would like to bring these to your attention, as well as how you can fix them.
#1. Sugar Overload
For years now, we’ve been encouraged to down a protein shake within a small window of time. This is when carbs are rapidly broken down and sent to your muscles—helping you obtain those epic gains.
However, many shake and smoothie recipes geared to aid ultimate muscle recovery and growth are calling for Nutella, peanut butter, and fruit juices to be added into the mix. I hate to break it to you, but these kinds of ingredients contain serious amounts of sugar and calories. This could easily take up 75 percent of your daily intake in one hit.
Plus, although they 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 protein shake comes in at a whopping 800 calories plus, you aren’t leaving yourself much room for the rest of the day.
#2. Your Shake is Your Main Meal
Many people who supplement with shakes treat it as their biggest meal of the day. They throw all of their calories and half of their kitchen into a blender.
The problem is, this means your daily calories—your fuel—isn’t being distributed evenly. This can be a total killer for your diet, especially if you’re an early bird at the gym.
By packing most of your quota into one meal, you’re left feeling ravenous for the entire day and often completely exhausted.
#3. Believing You Need a Post Workout Shake
It’s been pushed to such an extent that many are convinced the only way to max their gains is by demolishing a high calorie, sugar-packed shake the minute their session is over. But this isn’t the case!
You can speed up recovery and promote muscle growth just as effectively with a well-balanced diet of whole foods. This will also ensure you’re not hungry throughout the day—unlike a diet where your main meal is a supplement.
By choosing a whole food meal after training, you can choose an option which is packed with fiber. This will help slow down your digestion—meaning you’ll feel fuller for longer. Even if you’re bumping up your shake with fruit or oats, by blending them, they become less starchy.
In order to boost recovery and promote satiety, go for a plate of lean protein. Load up the veggies and healthy carbs, plus drink plenty of water. Spreading this out across the day will help distribute your calories evenly.