Adding a super shake to your post-workout routine is one of the habits that are super important for people trying to gain muscle. They’re packed with tons of the stuff you need to do exactly that: protein, carbs and fats, and vitamins and minerals. Check out a bunch of delicious recipes and tips and tricks below.
1. Whizz in the kitchen
Though few self-respecting Aussies would identify with the gym-culture trope of the shaker-toting bro, many of us regularly reach for the protein scoop. About half of us take supplements every day, and we’d wager that it’s not a pleasant experience for all of them. However, done right, shakes can deliver not only prime muscle fuel, but also be a delicious antidote to your bland eating plan. Follow our nutritionist-certified guide and give ’em a whirl.
Throw it in, shell and all: it contains calcium carbonate
for strong bones and collagen for healthy joints. Unlike in the past, the risk of salmonella from high-quality eggs is very low, so chug with confidence.
This furry, green multivit has nearly double the vitamin C of an orange. The micronutrient plays an essential role in bolstering your immune system, which can take a beating during tough workouts.
As well as spooning in an extra punch of protein, the healthy fats in this delicious addition also help you maintain testosterone levels in your body – a one-two combo that fuels serious gains in both strength and size.
The mix of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries is an all-star combo, full of antioxidants that bolster the heart-health benefits
of your workout. Plus, frozen fruit has a greater nutrient payload than fresh.
2. Smoothie operator
There’s no need to chug your shake within minutes of your final rep. Take your time and head for the kitchen.
PT Peter Parasiliti recommends you give yourself a more generous hour’s window to sort your post-workout nutrition – your muscles are still at their most receptive to the fuel you gulp for repair and faster growth.
Next, choose a quality protein. Cheap powders strip away the amino acids vital for muscle growth.
A new wave of proteins increases the benefit of every scoop. We like True WPI 90 Whey Protein Isolate ($65 for 1kg;).
A new blender will help, too. We tried 11 and two reigned supreme. The best splurge was the Vitamix A2500i ($945;) – no other blender matched its ability to pulverise.
The NutriBullet Blender Combo 1000 ($189; thegoodguys.com.au) was a close second. It’s a quick, efficient blitz, and the base holds handy to-go cups.
3. Spin class
Upgrade these recipes by using a blender that can hold twice the volume of what you’ll be shaking, says Richard Ludescher,
a food scientist at Rutgers University. The aeration will break down any clumps before you send it down the hatch.
4. Liquid assets
Whether dairy or non-dairy, strategically select your milk to suit your goals
Its vitamin E is a key ingredient in many anti-ageing products, so if you’re training to look good, this milk could even help to reduce wrinkles.
Dairy milk actually has a lot more carbs than the alternatives. These sugars will ensure that your muscles are well stocked.
Fortified with energising B-vitamins, this dairy alternative can provide the extra boost you need when training hard. Try it and power on.
LeBron’s Chocolate Smoothie
The Blender: LeBron James, NBA legend
• Peanut butter, 1Tbsp
• A banana, frozen
• Chocolate plant protein powder, a scoop
• Unsweetened almond milk, 250ml
• Ice cubes, a handful
Throw the peanut butter, banana and protein powder into your blender and blitz. Add the almond milk and ice cubes and blend again.
A 26g hit of protein, heart-healthy fats and enough energy to withstand endless Michael Jordan comparisons.
Berry Blast Super Shake
The Blender: Brian St Pierre, Precision Nutrition
• Mixed frozen berries, 175g
• Strawberry whey protein powder, a scoop
• Baby spinach, 225g
• Flaxseed, 1tsp, ground
• Semi-skimmed milk, 250ml
Combine the berries, protein powder, spinach and flaxseed in your blender and purée. Finally, add the liquid and whizz again until ready.
This delivers a healthy 6g of fibre and a substantial chunk of your daily fruit and veg requirements.
The Blender: Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor, politician, GOAT
• A raw egg (shell optional)
• Tart cherry juice, 50ml
• A banana
• Vanilla protein powder, a scoop
• Oat milk, 250ml
In a blender, combine the egg, juice, banana and protein powder and blitz until well combined. Then add the oat milk and whizz again until the desired consistency is achieved.
A powerhouse of protein, plus brain-boosting choline from the whole egg – and permission to shout, “Get to da choppa!” before blending.
Sweet Green Smoothie with Honey
The Blender: Kevin Curry, author of Fit Men Cook
• A kiwi fruit, peeled
• Spinach, a large handful
• Half an avocado
• Matcha green tea powder, 1Tbsp
• Raw honey, 1Tbsp • Vanilla extract, 1tsp • Unflavoured plant protein powder, a scoop • Oat milk, 250ml
Blitz the first seven ingredients until they’re well combined. Pour in the oat milk and spin it all again until smooth.
A payload of vitamins, a buzz from the green tea and a hue closely resembling the Hulk.