Shake It Up Baby

What is protein? What goes into a protein shake? Where is the gym? Are these questions you ask yourself daily? Don’t fear. Here is your definitive guide to protein shakes for dummies.

Protein is what our muscles are made out of; you need it to live and for basic functions like breathing and building muscle. High sources of natural protein include chicken, fish, cheese, red meat, tofu, beans, eggs, yoghurt, milk, nuts and seeds. There are different types of protein and different times to take them. Men’s Health recommend that you need to be strategic about when you take your protein shakes, i.e. pre-workout, post-workout or before bed. Pre-workout shakes must also be accompanied by carbohydrates, which will fuel your exercise and limit the risk of damaging your muscles.

Whey is a type of protein found in dairy products that is a common ingredient in post-workout shakes. It is very popular among bodybuilders as it has just the right combination of amino acids to build muscle. The body can also use it quickly so your muscles absorb more after your workout. Similarly, soy protein is a good base in post-workout shakes.

Before bed your body needs both short and long lasting protein like casein. Bananas are a great source of natural casein. Before bed, a large glass of milk and a banana are ideal. In turn, whey and soy proteins will help your muscles repair and grow during the night.

According to there are only 6 steps to make a simple protein shake at home from foods
you probably already have. Check in your fridge and try to source ingredients like these:

1. Base: Some liquid. Skim milk or normal milk work well as they have a good amount of protein
already. Greek yoghurt also works. Add about 250ml

2. Protein rich ingredient: Cream cheese(100g), Peanut butter(2 tbsp) or a raw egg.

3. Fruit: for flavour and nutritional value. Add about 200g

4. Porridge oats: (Optional) Extra protein and a delicious nutty flavour. Add 3 tbsp

5. Blend: Self-explanatory. Always remember the lid!

6. Drink while its fresh- the nutritional content is higher. You will typically have about 30-50g of protein in
this shake.

Eimear Phelan

Image credit: Recipe Snob via Flickr

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