We’re big proponents of real food over supplements. We don’t think that protein shakes are necessary at all; not for 99% of you anyway. They only really become useful for strongmen who struggle to eat enough calories, sports teams on tour, or people who have temporarily restricted access to a kitchen. Apart from these circumstances, you should always be striving to get 100% of your calories from real food.
However, nothing’s perfect. We know that.
Sometimes, life happens.
Your kitchen is getting re-modeled and you can’t cook for a week.
Your workplace doesn’t have a fridge, so it’s either a shake or fast food.
You’re travelling with work or you’re touring with your sports team. No time to stop for fresh food, and the only options when you do stop is McDonald’s or Krispy Kreme.
There’s no question that if it’s a choice between no food at all or a shake, a shake wins. If your options are a McDonald’s or a highly nutritious shake, it’s got to be the shake.
But there are shakes and then there are shakes.
Not every protein shake is made equal.
If you’re trying to eat like a hunter-gatherer, then your average shake of whey and milk probably isn’t going to be attractive to you.
Indeed, we think that pounding down 60g of whey after a workout is far from ideal; it’s not what your body needs most after a hard weight training session, and it’s actually a bit of a waste of money.
Instead, we recommend you make a shake that is more suitable for a real hunter-gatherer.
Below is our recipe for a perfect post-workout shake. It is nutritionally dense in the extreme, it provides everything you need post-workout, and it is in-line with what we think of as good, healthful nutrition.
What does your post-workout shake look like? Got a tasty twist on our shake? Let us know in the comments!
The Hunter-Gatherer Shake
Let’s get straight into it. Here is the recipe for our perfect post-workout shake.
- 1 banana
- Chia seeds
- Crushed peanuts (or peanut butter)
- Almond milk (always sweetened)
- (optional) Rice protein powder
How to make the shake:
- Pour 500ml of almond milk into a blender
- Add chopped banana and blend
- Add in a couple of strawberries and blend
- Add a handful/1 heaped tablespoon of chia seeds and blend
- Add 1 heaped tablespoon of peanut butter
- Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of honey and blend
- If more protein is really necessary, add in one scoop of rice protein powder and blend
Here is a breakdown of what this shake should provide:
- ~500 calories
- ~40g of protein
- ~100g of carbohydrates
- ~25g of fat
Thus shake gives you lots of magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. You also get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids; something which few protein shakes provide, but which you need for proper cell maintenance and growth.
The rice protein is chosen because it has a very good amino acid profile, is very easy to digest, and doesn’t usually have the same problems as whey (e.g lactose).
You don’t just need protein after a workout.
We believe that carbohydrates are much more important post-workout; ingesting some easily digestible carbs post-workout will definitely put you back into an anabolic state and kick-start the recovery process. It will replenish your muscles’ glycogen stores and make you feel instantly less wiped out.
We also think it’s really important that you get some vitamins and minerals back on board straight after an intense weight session. Heavy weight training taxes your entire body, and it depletes testosterone levels over the long-term. Making sure you take on plenty of B6, magnesium, calcium and zinc will make this a lot easier. Vitamin C will help you recover too. The strawberries give you a nice boost, but you should really aim to be taking on plenty of that from food!
Let us know what you think of this shake.
Got your own recipe?
Share it in the comments below!