If you are training hard in the gym, you want to know you are giving your body the fuel it needs to maximize your workouts. That’s why protein is so essential for people who are on a regular workout regimen.
You break your muscles down in the gym, so it’s important you build them back up in the kitchen. What you eat, how much you eat and when you eat are all important components of an effective fitness program.
First, let’s talk about WHAT you eat.
Why Soy Milk?
Most people think of diary and meat when they think of protein. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lactose intolerant. Luckily, there are other great milk alternatives – one of which is soy milk. If you struggle to get enough protein without dairy, Soymilk can help.
– No other dairy-free milk has more protein
– Silk Soymilk has 8 grams of plant-powered protein per serving.
– Silk Soymilk has no cholesterol.
– Silk Soymilk is low in saturated fat.
– Silk Soymilk really tastes good!
You can use soymilk just like any milk. Pour it over your cereal, drink it alone, use it in your protein shakes and replace regular milk with soy milk in your recipes. Other milk alternatives will not give you that extra dose of protein (almond milk only has 1gm of protein in it) – plus there are a lot of other reasons to go Soy.
Silk Brand Features:
– No high-fructose corn syrup
– No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
– Enrolled in or verified by the Non-GMO Project
– Responsibly produced
– Free of gluten, casein, peanuts, egg and MSG*
Now for the rest of the What, How & When…. What to eat, how to eat it and when to eat it.
It is best to get the majority of your protein from whole foods. This can be plant-based or animal-based protein. We only should use protein supplements to do just that – supplement what we are lacking. This means, if I’m trying to get 100gms of protein a day and I normally only get 60-75gms of protein from my regular diet, then I need to probably have a 25-30gm protein shake a day to help me reach my goal.
There is more to protein than even what it does for our muscles – it also is a great appetite suppressant! I’ve noticed when my protein is in check, I’m less hungry throughout the day too! I often snack on sliced meat with avocado and tomatoes, cheese and fruit, nuts, beef jerky and egg whites with hot sauce to help satisfy me between meals. All my snacks have protein and a little fat in them to keep me full and energize!
And I can’t forget protein shakes!! That’s the best snack of all!
Post-Workout Bananas Foster Shake
If you think about food as fuel, you can understand why it’s necessary to refuel your body after you run it out of gas. You need to put fuel back into the muscle’s fuel tanks so it’s refueled and ready to go again. This is where the sugar comes in. Our body has to replace glycogen stores in the muscle cell, so a post workout shake that is higher in carbs is perfect post-workout fuel.
We also need to give our body what it needs to recover from the torture we put our body through. Since we break down the muscle in the workout, protein is another essential substrate needed after your workout. Here is a post workout shake I make at home. Lastly, since fat slows digestion, this is the only time you want to avoid extra fats like peanut butter in your shake. Fast absorption is ideal during this time since you have a window where your body is more susceptible to using all the fuel you put in that empty tank (which is about 30-45 minutes after your workout).
Bananas Foster is a wonderful dessert with bananas, butter, rum and vanilla ice cream. I made my own healthier version and it’s on our smoothie menu at our gym. Here’s one of the recipes for it.
Silk Vanilla Soymilk
1 Cup Ice
Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/3 Teaspoon Rum Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Butter Extract
Night-time Peanut Butter Pie Muscle Recovery Shake
Another great time to get more protein in your diet is right before bed. We do a lot of our healing while we sleep, so it makes perfect sense why we would want to get a good dose of protein before we hit the sack. Our body can use that protein to repair while we snooze. This is also a good time to have fats in your shake since fat slows digestion and will keep us fuller longer, as well as help us absorb more protein while we sleep.
Silk Vanilla Soymilk
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon PB2
1 Teaspoon Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Jello Cheesecake Mix (sugar-free)
2 Graham Crackers (put them for the last 5 seconds of blending)
Remember, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to track your calories. A protein shake can easily get up over 300-500 calories if you aren’t careful. Measure your ingredients and be very selective of each ingredient you add to your shake. Keep shakes between 150-200 calories for snacks and 300-350 calories for meal replacements to help you stick to your caloric budget for weight loss.
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This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.