When it comes to getting muscle friendly & power packed nutrition, it’s hard to beat the protein shake. It can be doctored up with a variety of ingredients to make it tasty or stripped down to protein powder & water to get on-the- go nutrition. Whatever your goals, the protein shake can be adapted to meet your needs.
The protein shake is like a one stop shop where you can make additions that will burn fat, boost testosterone, load you up on antioxidants & speed recovery.
Take advantage of supercharging your protein shake with adding 1 or all of these hassle-free additions:
Protein Powder: Growth & repair of muscles
- If you are active then you want to aim somewhere around 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight daily.
- If you’re dieting and exercising, aim higher, between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of your bodyweight per day. As your caloric intake decreases, your protein needs will actually increase.
Muscle Milk or Gold Standard Whey are my favorite brands.
Egg whites: Lean protein source
- Egg whites are a top source of lean protein with absolutely no fat. It also offers important nutrients like folate, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Wheat Germ: If your goal is to boost testosterone
- Wheat germ contains zinc which keeps testosterone levels elevated during periods of intense training. Testosterone is crucial hormone to both men & women for building muscle. Wheat germ also contains selenium, which is involved in thyroid hormone production that keeps the metabolism running smooth.
*11x more test-boosting zinc found in W.G. than in chicken breast!
Add 1-3 TBS to your shake
Yogurt: Digestive aid
- The probiotics (good bacteria) aids in digestion and keeps you regular.
Chia Seeds: Fights cravings
- Can you believe the chia pet is a superfood?! It definitely is with a whopping 11 grams of fiber/ounce. The fiber in chia seeds swells & forms a gel in your stomach. This gives you a feeling of fullness. I use chia seeds in some of my recipes when I want to make a pudding type texture, see my “chocolate cherry bomb recipe posted 6/13/14.”
Add 1-2 TBS to your shake and I even put a TBS in my oatmeal.
Cinnamon: Helps control blood sugar levels & eases aches & pains
- ½ a tsp. of cinnamon daily can help keep blood sugars level, which prevents you from “crashing.” Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, joint pain & muscle aches.
Glutamine Powder: Prevents muscle breakdown
- If you are lifting weights & experiencing a stressful time in your life, glutamine will prevent muscle breakdown. It does this by fueling the immune system & others parts of the body. This amino acid also speeds recovery, increases growth hormone, & will increase the storage of muscle glycogen to help you in hard training sessions.
AYURVEDIC Fat Fighting Tea See recipe in blog post “Get rid of stubborn fat,” posted 5/14/14
Add about ¼ cup to your shake
Fenugreek: Increase libido & lowers cholesterol
- Fenugreek seeds have been found to help increase libido for women & men. It can also lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations during menopause & PMS.
- Studies show it can lower blood sugar after eating. Some small studies have found that fenugreek can help with acid reflux. Because it’s high in fiber, fenugreek may help treat or prevent constipation.
- It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
- Ginger contains chemicals that helps reduce nausea and inflammation. It also can be used to treat heart burn & acid reflux.
Vegetable &/or Fruit Juice: Load up on nutrients
- Adding your veggies & fruits into your shake can help you get in the daily requirements of vegetables & fruits.
- I don’t follow a specific recipe when making my vegetable and fruit juice. I use whatever is in my refrigerator. If I have frozen blueberries, strawberries, & raspberries, I will blend it in my Vitamix while gradually adding water to get my desired consistency. You can follow this same process with your vegetables too.
- I save my milk cartons to store my juices to make shakes throughout the week. This makes it easy to whip up a protein shake in no time.
Add about ¼ to 1/2 cup of each for a meal replacement shake.