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Protein Shake After Workout
A little while back, a coworker got me on the idea of drinking a protein shake after a workout to aid recovery. I tried it out and at the time I noticed that my body seemed to recovery better and be ready for the next day's workout. When I first started on these, I was doing short runs, playing basketball, and doing more strength based workouts.
This was quite awhile ago and more recently I have gotten into running longer distances. I still do strength, but I don't do as much overall strength as I used to. I figured I would see what happened if I went a few weeks without the extra protein.
Going without Protein Shakes for 2 weeks
So, I did my little personal test by going without the protein shakes for 2 weeks. During this 14 day period, I ran 6 times, walked a few times, and did 2 cross-training sessions (like biking or elliptical). This is about normal for me for a typical 2 week period. At the beginning of the 14-day period, I didn't notice much of a difference. However, after I got into day 6 or so, I noticed that my body was starting to become more tired than usual when I went out to do a run. On days after I hadn't eaten the healthiest, I would notice a bit of a difference as well. I keep pretty accurate times using a Nike+ sports watch and I also noticed that I felt like I was working a little harder to acheive the same distances and speeds.
Overall, I would say that the difference was noticeable, but not overcomable. I tried to keep my diet the same during the 14-day period. I feel like if I would have upped my natural protein intake during this test that I would have been fine without the shakes. However, I eat pretty healthy already, and the protein shakes make it so much easier to get the protein I need for my tough workout schedule.
Protein Shake Recipe
I figured I would add my shake recipe here for anyone who is interested. I use my Protein Shake as a meal replacement. I have used many different protein powders and haven't noticed a huge difference between them. The key is to get a Whey protein. Lately, I have been using EAS Whey Protein or GNC Amp Whey. The GNC Amp Whey seemed a bit better, but it was expensive.
For my after workout shake, I will use 2-3 scoops of protein and add it to 10-12 ounces of water in a blender. Two to Three scoops of protein powder usually ends up being between 30-40 grams of protein. I will then add a banana, a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, and a few ice cubes. Sometimes, I may even add in a few berries. After blending this all together, it makes for a great tasting and well-rounded lunch. This ends up being around 400-500 calories for those who are calorie counters. Also, if you don't like Peanut Butter, flax seed oil makes for a great replacement to get a healthy fat.
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