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Let's Shake Up Protein Supplements
Protein shakes are the default way to consume protein supplementation. They're simple, quick to make and use, and taste good.
In practice, many people report having trouble with protein shakes. Bloating is the number one complaint, with bodybuilding and fitness forums usually running at least one thread reporting bloating and discomfort after using protein shakes, and they aren't always convenient either. That doesn't mean we should abandon protein supplementation, but maybe a wider repertoire of ways to consume protein powders would give us more options.
New Ideas for Using Protein Supplements
Ideas for using protein supplementation need to fall into four camps: pre-workout, for immediately before you begin training; peri-workout, for while you actually are training; post-workout, for consumption timed to take advantage of the post-workout anabolic window; and general, for increased protein intake thoughout the day. Obviously, certain foods in general fit into this pattern and some don't. Chicken and fries fit well into a post-workout nutrition protocol (as defined by my old Thai boxing coach: 'work - work - work - chicken and chips') but would be disastrous as a peri-workout nutrition choice. A protein shake can be consumed at any point through this four-stage cycle, hence their popularity, but for some the bloating and discomfort isn't worth it, while for others they simply get tired of the same old, same old. If that's you, maybe these recipes will help.
1: Blueberry Muffins
The blueberry muffin is a classic, but unfortunately it's usually a junk food classic, and for many of us the time comes when we simply have to choose between indulgence and athleticism; between muffins and muscles!
Not any more, though. One muffin made according to this recipe contains 9 grams of protein, making two or three an ideal post-workout snack and one or two a great pre-workout snack to get some energy available and prevent catabolysis.
Makes 12 muffins.
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups partially frozen blueberries
Preheat your oven to 375F and mix the soy milk and vinegar, then set to one side.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Create a well in the middle of the mixing bowl and slowly add the wet ingredients, except the berries. Stir until the ingredients combine, then add the berries. The recipe calls for them to be partially frozen so they don't just turn to mush during the cooking process.
Get your muffin tray ready, and fill each well of the muffin tin 1/3 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes; if you're in doubt' insert a toothpick into a muffin. When it emerges clean, the muffins are done.
Pancakes are a classic comfort or convenience food for many of us. Like muffins, they're something we've often learned to live without, but these pancakes are ideal for pre-workout or general supplementation, and they work just fine for post-workout nutrition too if you can get to a hot plate in time!
Recipe makes 4 pancakes
2 tablespoons Protein Powder
Whisk together until you have a batter and pan-fry. Try making sandwiches with them, or eating them with berries.
How simple could it be? You can pre-make this one for post-workout nutrition right at the gym, eat before training or even use as periworkout nutrition. Simply take some yoghurt, and stir on some protein powder!