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Monday, September 30, 2013

What's the "Perfect" Shake For Anytime of the Day?

 Nutrition & nutritional timing can make a huge difference in your energy level, training performance, and results from training.  Here are some helpful recipes & tips on supplementation & nutritional timing!

The Perfect Pre-Workout Shake Recipe

25-35g whey protein powder
5g Essential Amino Acids
1.1-1.5g instant oats per kg of body mass
2mg caffeine
2g beta alanine
2g creatine
2g L-Arginine

Protein and Essential Amino Acids

Protein, of course, is the fundamental building block required for new muscle growth. But to make sure it reaches your muscles fast, you need Essential Amino Acids. A University of Texas study found protein synthesis was increased when EAAs were taken immediately before resistance exercise. Use 25-35 grams of quality whey protein and 5 grams of EAAs to form the basis of your pre-workout shake.

Instant oats

Getting some quality carbs to fuel you up for your workout is crucial. Researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus found that taking 1.1-1.5 grams of liquid carbohydrate per kg of body mass 60 minutes before exercise greatly improved athletic performance. Ideally, go for low GI carbs like instant oats to ensure your body gets a steady release of energy throughout your routine, so you can maintain your strength and power right through to the last rep.


Researchers at Yale University found as little as 200 milligrams of caffeine before a workout increases strength endurance. Experts believe it stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter beta-endorphin, which studies show can reduce pain and perceived fatigue. Less pain + reduced fatigue = a superior workout. It’s a simple equation. Add a very, very small teaspoon’s worth to your pre-workout shake mix.

Beta alanine

This non-essential amino acid increases the concentration of the dipeptide carnosine in your muscles. Which enables them to work harder for longer. It also prevents lactic acid build-up during intense exercise, reducing fatigue. A study at Florida Atlantic University found taking beta alanine before training significantly enhanced endurance performance. So you can train harder for longer, create more microtears in your muscles, and bulk up faster.


The subject of hundreds of studies, creatine monohydrate has been repeatedly proven to improve power, strength and muscle growth, while reducing the time it takes to recover between intense bouts of exercise. More specifically, a University of Memphis study found that creatinesupplementation before training promotes significantly greater gains in fat-free mass, ups your maximum lifting load, and improves sprint performance during resistance training. It’s your essential one-stop body-booster.


The fifth and final ingredient you should ensure goes into your pre-workout shake is L-Arginine. Scientists have found it has a number of beneficial effects on the body, such as improvingendurance and reducing recovery time. When taken in a pre-workout shake, it boosts your nitrogen oxide levels, which are responsible for increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to your muscles – improving your lifting capability.
Add 2 grams of L-Arginine to finish off the perfect pre-workout shake. Mix well. And knock it back 45-60 minutes before your workout.

Post-Workout Shake

The content of the shake you drink after training has a big effect on the amount of muscle your body is able to build. If you’re looking to pack on muscle, these are the ingredients to look out for in your post-workout shake.

Whey protein – to build and repair muscle

After a workout, your muscles are starved: they require protein quickly in order to repair microtears and increase in size. Ensure you down your shake as soon as possible after your workout – and always within 60 minutes of dropping that last weight. University of Texas research revealed that after a workout your muscles' ability to absorb protein increases by 50%. “A sizeable scoop (at least 40g) of wheyprotein forms the base of any decent post-workout shake,” says Martin MacDonald, performance nutritionist for the Great Britain Olympic Weightlifting team.

Carbs and leucine – to speed up protein and nutrient absorption

A large serving (around 60g) of very high GI carbohydrates in your shake (dextrose or maltodextrin are good options) is a must. Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands found carbs dramatically boost insulin levels, which in turn increases the absorption of protein. Similarly, a very small teaspoon (approximately 3g) of the essential amino acid leucine in your shake will also significantly increase the rate of protein synthesis in your muscles and speed up your body's nutrient absorption, according to University of Birmingham research. Which means more muscle fuel. And faster muscle gains.

HMB – to reduce muscle soreness

Just 1.5g of the amino acid HMB (Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) in your shake will greatly decrease muscle soreness after a workout, discovered researchers at The School of Life Sciences, Kingston University. So you’ll be able to train again sooner, free from aches and pains.

Best Bed Time Shake Recipe

30 grams Casein protein
2g L- Arginine
2g L- Lysine
5g Glutamine
1g HMB

Slow Release Protein

The 7-9 hours you (should) spend asleep are crucial for muscle growth. Since you can't chomp chicken every few hours, you need to pick a pre-bed shake that delivers vital amino acids and peptides throughout the night. Recent studies conducted at the University of Auvergne, France revealed dietary amino acid absorption is slower in casein than in whey protein. So favor casein protein as the basis of your pre-bed shake.

L-Lysine and L-Arginine

Your body produces up to 70% of its human growth hormone (a prime driver of muscle growth) while you are asleep. A University of Turin study saw subjects triple their HGH levels with L-Arginine supplementation – and a University of Rome study found that combining L-Arginine with L-Lysine was 10 times more effective than taking L-Arginine alone.


During deep sleep, your body releases potent substances that strengthen your immune system. Research from the University College of Dublin found the immune-boosting properties of glutamine were so impressive, it was used to treat patients with inflammatory conditions. Putting 5g in your shake to support a healthy immune system and fend off injury and illness is especially vital for those undertaking rigorous training schedules.


HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) is an amino acid that has been proven to delay the breakdown of muscle protein, promote tissue growth and strengthen the immune system. Enough said.

Perfect Fat-Loss Shake Recipe

25-35g whey isolate protein powder
2g Conjugated Linoleic Acid
200mg of Green Tea powder
200mg caffeine
200mg chromium


As well as encouraging muscle growth, protein stimulates the metabolism far more efficiently than both carbs and fat, due to the energy demands that using amino acids places on the body. This encourages post-workout fat-burning. Aim for 25-35 grams of whey ‘isolate’ – it’s been filtered to ensure it contains less carbohydrates, fat and calories than whey ‘concentrate’.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid

A study conducted at the Betanien Medical Center in Oslo, Norway, discovered that subjects who were given the naturally occurring fatty acid CLA over 12 months saw significant decreases in body fat. Just a couple grams in your shake will encourage your body to torch fat after your workout.


Recent research from Columbia University is one of innumerable studies to conclude that caffeine hastens fat reduction. It has also been shown to improve performance in short-term, high-intensity exercise – exactly the kind of workouts you should be doing when trying to shed unwanted pounds.

Green Tea

Those who drank a cup of green tea daily and exercised for 180 minutes a week over a 12 week period lost  4.4 lbs (2 kgs) – over double the weight drop experienced by those who exercised the same amount but shirked the chai – found a study in the Journal of Nutrition found


Naturally present in wholegrain breads, meats and vegetables, chromium is a trace mineral required for normal growth and development. Adding some to your shake will help you melt away blubber and get lean faster. Research from the Health and Medical Research Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, found that a 200mg chromium supplement results in a significant improvement in your body composition index – the ratio of body fat to lean body tissue.
1) Ross Edgley, Sports Medicine 
2) Men's Health Magazine 
3) Journal of Nutrition
4) As well as multiple other sources, cited within this post

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