Post-workout shakes are popular in the hardcore training scene, and there is plenty of research to prove that they are an excellent method to aid in recovery. However, if you exercise infrequently and need to lose fat, post-workout shakes may do more harm than good for you.
For the general population, post-workout shakes often become an opportunity to reward one’s training efforts by ingesting treats in the form of sweetened whey proteins, sugary drinks, or worse. Shakes are also misused as meal replacements. Whey protein – the most popular protein in the industry for post-workout shakes – is a poor source of food for insulin management. Whey is a “fast” protein, spikes insulin far too quickly, and empties out of the gut far too rapidly to maintain proper insulin levels. Therefore, it’s probably not a great meal substitute for someone who is trying to lose fat.
All that said, I am a believer in the post workout shake for the right population. If you train four or more times per week, the following guidelines can prove helpful to your quest to gain strength, increase muscle, and lose fat.
Drinking a shake after your workout restores muscle glycogen, the energy source your muscles need to operate up to fifteen times faster than if you just leave the gym and go eat a meal.
It lowers cortisol – the hormone released when you are under stress – by spiking insulin levels (these two hormones are inversely related). High cortisol levels are linked to higher body fat around the waistline, so taking a shake can actually help you become leaner, faster.
Continue to page 2 for key ingredients of the post-workout shake.
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