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NUTRITION

4 Healthy Shake Boosters You’re Not Using

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It’s easy to fall into a rut in your lifting routine, and the same is true for your protein shakes. If you’ve been using the same tired boosters in your shake and not seeing results, there’s a good reason for it. Protein powders are formulated to deliver the ideal ratio of macronutrients after a workout, but they don’t always focus on the micronutrients.

Why does it matter? Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to muscle growth and repair. Post-workout nutrition is an opportunity to feed your muscles exactly what they need quickly and deliver otherwise hard-to-get nutrients in a convenient shake. If you know what to add to your protein powder, you can customize your shake to give your body exactly what it needs.

Here’s a list of the top protein shake additions that you’re probably not using, and why you should start adding them today.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has long been used in traditional medicine for its purported anti-inflammatory properties, and in modern times it has graced the pages of many a health-themed Instagram feed.

The primary active component of turmeric is curcumin, which studies indicate may help suppress the factors that lead to inflammation.[1] Though this bright yellow spice appears in many traditional Southeast Asian dishes, the doses needed to produce any significant effect are much higher than would be found in a single meal and can only be obtained through supplementation.

To boost your shake, add 1/2-1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper prior to blending. The piperine in the black pepper helps make the curcumin more bioavailable.

Thinking outside the shaker, you could also try this delicious turmeric latte recipe—the perfect way to help your body recover faster after a workout and use up your cold leftover coffee.

Turmeric

Turmeric Latte

Want to get more out of your morning cup of joe? This recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover coffee and give your body a healthy boost. Turmeric contains compounds that have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while the maca powder is a natural energy booster. Almond milk provides a dairy-free base, but you can substitute your milk of choice.

View Recipe Here

2. Baobab Fruit

The fruit of the baobab tree is commonly eaten in Africa and Australia and has a citrus-like flavor. It is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and its leaves are rich in calcium and protein. Even the seeds are loaded with fat and healthy fiber, and powdered forms of this potent plant are available around the world.

Baobab fruit is associated with many health benefits. For one thing, it aides weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness and helping to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.[2] Its potential benefits make this southern-hemisphere treat a perfect booster to your weight-loss shake. Just add a scoop of baobab powder to your protein shake, or if you prefer, try the recipe below.

Baobab

Carrot-Orange Baobab Drink

Loaded with antioxidants, this simple bright-orange drink is bursting with nutrients and flavor. Baobab powder has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, acai, and goji, and carrots and oranges are great sources of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Fresh ginger helps with digestion in addition to adding a zing to this flavorful four-ingredient drink. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high-powered blender and strain with a cheesecloth.

View Recipe Here

3. Plant-Based Omega-3s

While health experts have touted the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for years, we don’t often discuss the different sources of this supplement. Fish oil has become all but synonymous with omega-3s, but the plant-based versions may actually be easier to incorporate into your diet.

Flaxseed is 42 percent fat, and most of that comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor of omega-3 fatty acids. ALA has many potential health benefits, specifically the ability to reduce blood triglycerides and reduce the inflammatory response, both of which help fight heart disease. Unlike its fishy counterpart, flaxseed also offers a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Since all the goodness is inside the seed, add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil to your shake instead of whole seed. If you’d rather chew your omegas, check out the slow-cooker superfood protein bars below.

Seeds

Slow-Cooker Superfood Protein Bars

Flaxseed is a fantastic healthy addition to any baked good, providing extra fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats. These homemade bars take it to the next level by combining ground flaxseed with cashew butter, oats, and plant protein to create a delicious, chewy, gluten-free high-protein snack. Add the extra flavor and superfood punch of blueberries, cacao nibs, and cinnamon, and you’ve got yourself a healthy on-the-go treat to fuel your body and help you hit your goals.

View Recipe Here

4. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type fiber that the human body cannot digest. They are food for probiotics—hence the name. Since probiotics support healthy gut bacteria, including prebiotics in your diet is the key to better gut health.

Whole-food sources of prebiotics include dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, wheat bran, and cocoa. While some sources of prebiotics make more sense in a salad than a shake, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder is an easy and delicious way to boost the prebiotics in your smoothie and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If you’d rather have a warm cup of cocoa, give this PBfit hot chocolate recipe a try.

Cacao Powder

PBFit Hot Chocolate

While some sources of prebiotics make more sense in a salad than a shake, adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder is an easy and delicious way to boost the prebiotics in your smoothie and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If you’d rather have a warm cup of cocoa, give this PBfit hot chocolate recipe a try.

View Recipe Here

References
  1. Takada, Y., Bhardwaj, A., Potdar, P., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2004). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-κ B activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene, 23(57), 9247-9258.
  2. Coe, S., & Ryan, L. (2016). White bread enriched with polyphenol extracts shows no effect on glycemic response or satiety yet may increase postprandial insulin economy in healthy participants. Nutrition Research, 36(2), 193-200.

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NUTRITION

Protein Shake Recipes | Coach

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The routine of taking protein powder two or three times everyday can become quite monotonous, especially considering most of us can only afford to buy one flavour at a time. There’s no need to hold your nose every time you drink a protein shake, though – it just takes a little creativity to turn your protein powder from a necessary evil to a tasty treat. On this page you’ll find plenty of recipes as well as suggestions for ingredients in case you want to freestyle it.

Protein Shake Recipes

Breakfast protein shake

If you don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast, then this high-protein smoothie, which also contains good fats, fibre and a ton of vitamins and minerals, will keep you fully fuelled until lunch. “This fruity breakfast beverage contains cashew nuts and cinnamon, which can help stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent hunger pangs to give you a sustained release of energy all morning,” says personal trainer and Multipower ambassador Anthony Nyman. The yogurt and whey powder increase the protein content, while the pineapple and blueberries are packed with antioxidants and other health-boosting compounds.

  • 200g Greek yogurt
  • 50g pineapple, roughly chopped
  • 30g blueberries
  • 1 scoop of whey protein isolate
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Water, to taste

Pre-workout protein shake

If you want to have the best workout possible, make sure you give your muscles all the fuel they need to perform to their maximum potential for the duration of the session. That’s what this performance-boosting smoothie helps to do, if you drink it an hour before training. The oats provide a steady stream of carbs for fuel while the protein powder will provide the amino acids that prevent too much muscle breakdown and encourage new muscle growth. “The banana in this creamy shake provides plenty of potassium, which helps to support muscle function during exercise,” says nutritionist Clare Baseley (forgoodnessshakes.com). Coconut water is high in other electrolytes to aid hydration and muscle contractions.

  • ½ a banana
  • A handful of porridge oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1tbsp flaxseeds
  • 330ml coconut water

Chill all the ingredients in the fridge, blend them until smooth, then sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top and drink immediately.

Recovery protein shake

After a hard training session your body is crying out for high-quality protein to repair damaged muscle tissue so it can grow back bigger and stronger. But your body needs more than just protein to recover quickly. “In addition to plenty of muscle-building protein, this citrusy and refreshing smoothie also contains vitamin A-rich carrots to help support your immune system which can be weakened by long and intense training,” says chef Dee Chauhan.

  • ½ a carrot, peeled and sliced
  • ½ an orange, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ of a cantaloupe melon, peeled and chopped
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 125ml cashew nut milk
  • 50ml water
  • A handful of ice

Fat loss protein shake

The key to losing weight is to reduce your calorie intake while still eating enough essential vitamins and nutrients, and drinking plenty of water. This smoothie is packed with healthy compounds, but it’s also got protein and fibre to keep you feeling full. “Matcha green tea will fire up your metabolism to help encourage fat loss without causing the jitteriness or headaches that can be associated with caffeine-heavy drinks promoted as a fat-loss aid,” says nutritional therapist Christine Bailey (christinebailey.co.uk).

  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 green apple, sliced
  • ¼tsp matcha green tea powder
  • ¼tsp spirulina
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 4 ice cubes
  • Water, to taste

Muscle-building protein shake

Aiming to build muscle mass? Then you need to be eating more of the right kind of calories from carbs, fats and protein, which will give your body the energy surplus it needs to add size faster. “Upping your calorie intake with healthy ingredients is crucial if you’re trying to add size, which is why this smoothie features nutritious and calorie-dense ingredients like dark chocolate and coconut milk – as well as a good serving of fast-acting whey protein,” says nutrition specialist Scott Baptie (foodforfitness.co.uk).

  • 20g dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 25g scoop whey protein isolate
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • 50g porridge oats, soaked in 100ml of water for five to ten minutes

Left to right: Super strawberries, power latte, punchy chocolate peanut, fruit fusion

Super strawberries

One regular strawberry contains 20% of your RDA of recovery-improving vitamin C, which is why this recipe contains five.

  • 1 scoop of strawberry whey protein
  • 5 strawberries, stalks removed
  • 400ml milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Water, to taste

Power latte

Trade your normal morning coffee for a bonus hit of calcium-heavy almond milk and insulin-regulating cinnamon.

  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
  • 100ml chilled coffee
  • 300ml almond milk
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Water, to taste

Punchy chocolate peanut

Like liquid Snickers in a glass (but a lot healthier) with high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

  • 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein
  • 400ml milk
  • 1tbsp peanut butter
  • 2tsp cocoa powder
  • Water, to taste

Fruit fusion

Winter’s the best time of year to enjoy seasonal citrus fruits, when their levels of health-boosting vitamin A are highest.

  • 1 scoop of plain whey protein
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 400ml pineapple juice
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Water, to taste

Left to right: Berry blast, energy banana, blue flu fighter

Berry blast

  • 1 scoop of strawberry whey
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Handful of raspberries
  • 200ml milk
  • Water, to taste

Energy banana

One banana contains 25% of your RDA of brain-boosting vitamin B6.

  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2tsp honey
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Water, to taste

Blue flu fighter

  • 1 scoop of strawberry whey
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Handful of blackberries
  • 2tsp manuka honey
  • Water, to taste

Left to right: Healthy honey, green and lean, big breakfast

Healthy honey

  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
  • 2tsp manuka honey
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 400ml coconut water
  • Water, to taste

Green and lean

Not a fan of greens? Try mixing your kale with delicious vitamin K-rich blueberries.

  • 1 scoop of chocolate whey
  • 2tsp supergreens
  • Handful of kale
  • 1tsp flaxseed oil
  • Water, to taste

Big breakfast

This morning milkshake has four different sources of bulk-building protein.

  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey
  • Handful of porridge oats
  • 1tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 400ml almond milk
  • Water, to taste

Great grape

The grapes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese and the berries contain plenty of antioxidants, while chia seeds deliver an extra hit of protein.

  • 2 scoops vanilla flavour protein powder
  • Handful of purple grapes 
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 1tsp dry chia seeds
  • 1tsp flaxseed oil
  • 120ml of water

Oat-some energy

Anything with bananas and oats is going to be packed with energy making this the perfect pre-workout, energy boosting concoction. As well as energy this shake will help to prevent muscle cramping and sustain your blood sugar too. 

  • 2 scoops banana or vanilla-flavoured protein powder
  • 2tbsp of rolled oats
  • 2 bananas
  • 240ml of unsweetened almond milk 
  • 120ml of cold water
  • ¼tsp of cinnamon
  • 1tsp of honey
  • 4 ice cubes

Chocolate and peanut butter

Who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter together? As well as being a decadent mixture of two milkshake favourites, this recipe is actually good for you. The peanuts are full of good stuff including protein, folate, vitamin E and manganese.

  • 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 2tbsp of good-quality peanut butter (the less sugar the better)
  • 240ml of unsweetened almond milk, skimmed milk or soy milk
  • Ice cubes to taste

Peachy green

A nutrient-rich breakfast smoothie. It’ll come out green and may look fairly unappetising but it will start your day off the right way with a hearty serving of fruit, veg and protein.

  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • Handful of frozen pineapple
  • ½ a banana
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • ½ a frozen peach
  • 240ml of unsweetened almond milk

Great Protein Shake Ingredients

Blueberries Fresh berries sweeten the shake and provide you with antioxidants, which reduce your risk of cancer by mopping up free radicals. Their high fibre content also staves off hunger – and therefore unnecessary snacking – for longer.

Strawberries These are a great source of manganese, a mineral that controls blood sugar levels and reduces the urge to snack. This helps to ensure you don’t undermine all your hard work in the gym with poor food choices as soon as you get out of it. 

Nuts Chucking some nuts into the blender won’t just give you an extra protein kick. Brazil nuts, for example, are packed with cancer-fighting selenium and zinc, while cashews are rich in iron, which is vital for energy.

Peppermint Oil The concentrated essence of the sweet herb contains omega 3 fatty acids, thought to improve blood circulation and reduce your risk of a stroke. It can also relieve stomach ache and indigestion.

Oats Not just for your porridge bowl. Oats are a low-GI source of carbohydrates that will help replenish your muscles with glycogen so they recover and grow bigger faster. They also provide a generous dose of zinc for healthy immune function, magnesium to help your muscles relax after training and dietary fibre to aid with digestion and help remove cholesterol.

4 key ingredients for a post-workout shake

1. Skimmed milk If fat loss is your primary fitness focus, blending your protein powder with water instead of milk will keep the calorie count lower and reduce your intake of both sugar and fats. But if you want to increase both muscular size and strength, then add some milk to the mixer. Research shows that taking protein with carbs during the post-workout window hastens muscle recovery thanks to a faster replenishment of glycogen stores.

2. A medium banana Adding a banana to your blender when making a post-workout shake can do wonders for your physique because they’re an excellent source of vitamin B6, which plays a central role in the metabolism of the fats, carbs and protein you eat. A medium banana contains more than one-third of your daily recommended intake of this vital B vitamin, which is also involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and gene expression.

3. Ground cinnamon Adding this spice will keep your blood sugar levels stable, a key consideration when trying to add muscle and lose body fat. Indeed, a study published in the Journal Of Nutritional Science And Vitaminology found cinnamaldehyde, a compound in cinnamon, is involved in the metabolism of fatty visceral tissue (ie your beer belly). So more cinnamon could help reduce the size of your waist.

4. Peanut butter Adding a dollop of organic peanut butter (or other nut butter) – as long as it’s low in added salt or sugar – will (a) transform the taste of your post-workout shake and (b) increase your intake of quality fats, which your body needs for better hormone production, including muscle-building testosterone. Most nut butters are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which combats cellular damage caused by training.

Extra supplements

Whey protein is a given for growth – but adding these additional supplements to your shakes will have you operating at full capacity, says nutritionist Ben Coomber

Dextrose Want to build impressive muscle and earn boast-worthy PBs in the gym or on the road? Then buck the low-carb trend. These easily digestible starch powders – maltodextrin is another alternative – are the primary fuel for any exercise. If you’re performing twice in quick succession, such as at a five-a-side football tournament or CrossFit competition, or even simply bulking and in need of extra calories, they’ll be your secret weapon. On long cardio sessions, take 50g per hour after the first hour of action to top up your glycogen stores and avoid hitting the wall.

Shake up a mix of carb powder, electrolytes, creatine and fruit juice with a little honey.

Greens Top up your five-a-day with this veg, fruit and herb dose in powder form. Greens should be a travel staple alongside your sun cream and passport: their potent antioxidant qualities protect your immunity from the added stress of missing home comforts and the toxins produced by the stress of travel (and besides, most of us aren’t great at getting lots of vegetables and fruit in on holiday). Basically they’re packed with nutritional benefits, helping you towards a high-functioning, healthy body and maximising your fat loss potential.

Sprinkle a 10g dose in with chocolate whey protein, coconut water and desiccated coconut.

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