As you may or may not be aware, not all protein shakes are created equal. Protein shakes differ in many ways. Whether that be nutritional breakdown, protein content, quality of ingredients, taste, thickness, calorie content etc. different protein shakes can even be made specifically for different purposes. Some protein shakes are made specifically to help you gain weight, some to help you to lose fat, some to give you all the nutrients you need from a meal, and some, the ones we are concerned with, are designed to give you all the nutrients you need post workout.
Post workout shakes are specifically designed to refuel your muscles after a workout and give you all the nutrients needed to recover. Post-workout is on of the most important times to have a protein shake. Your protein synthesis is increased and you are likely to become catabolic if you don’t have a shake after a workout so it is extremely important to get one as quickly as possible. It is also important that you get the right nutrients in this shake. You will need a few things post-workout. Firstly you need a fast acting protein source. When you are diminished of amino acids your body will start to become catabolic and go into a muscle wasting state. Therefore post workout you will need to get the amino acids into the muscle quickly. You will need a protein that is broken down into its amino acids and delivered to the muscle quickly. Whey protein isolate is one of the fastest acting forms of protein so will be perfect for this. You will also need to replenish the lost muscle glycogen that has been lost through working out. The fast acting carbohydrates that will do this are also very useful as they will create an insulin response that will help to drive the protein into the muscles. Fast acting carbs like maltodextrin or vitargo are great for this. You can also have additional extra ingredients like creatine, glutamine and added BCAA’s to help with muscle repair, strength, performance and recovery.
So what are my top 3 favourite post-workout shakes? Well they must all contain the above specifications. Here are my top 3.
Phd recovery 2:1 is probably my favourite post-workout shake. It contains all of the ingredients needed to help your body recover effectively whilst also tasting fantastic. Its very light and easy to drink. The fruity flavours (berry is the best) are very refreshing post workout and don’t make you feel queezy like some thick chocolaty shakes can.
Reflex growth matrix is in my opinion the highest quality post-workout formula on the market. It uses hydrolysed whey isolate as well as an additional 7g of L-leucine in each serving. This has been shown to be extremely beneficial for muscle gain and recovery. With the inclusion of creapure high quality creatine and great carb sources, the growth matrix is sure to give great results.
The CNP pro-recover has been around a long time now and has proven its results over many years of being one of the market leaders. Its relatively basic formula but high quality ingredients has been giving great results for a long time and it is one of the most reasonably priced recovery products on the market.
So I urge you to buy a post-workout protein formula as it is one of the most important supplements to add to your arsenal. These are my top 3 so I would strongly recommend giving each of them a try and see which one works best for you.