5 Shakes, 5 ways muscle-building protein recipes power vocabulary words

The thing about a good breakfast shake, though, is that it can’t just taste great—it also has to keep my appetite down if I’m going to make it through the first few hours of the day. So I make sure quality protein, carbs, and fats are a part of my morning routine.

I try to get the bulk of my dietary fats in my first meal of the day. That’s why my special breakfast shake has both peanut butter and heavy cream. I prefer to get fats from whole, identifiable sources like beef, fish, cheese, dairy, whole eggs, butter, and nuts. All of these fat sources are tasty, filling, and keep me satisfied. 2 Frank McGrath’s Pre-Wrath Shake

I hate training hungry. Even though I eat a whole-food meal an hour or so before I train, I sometimes need something more that won’t upset my stomach. Before my serious car accident five years ago, I was an eating machine. I also used to drink a lot of protein shakes. Ever since the accident, though, I haven’t been able to eat like I used to. I had my spleen removed, and doctors also discovered a kink in my intestines that sometimes made it painful to eat because food would get stuck. I stopped drinking protein shakes because they would make me feel nauseated.

When I got the new Animal Whey, I let it sit in the closet, afraid to use it. But then I tried it using the above recipe. You know what? I had no problems at all—no upset stomach, no nausea, nothing. This stuff is really great, and it tastes great, too.

You can use this recipe before you train or before bedtime. The natural peanut butter adds a lot of flavor and good fats into the mix. Bananas have a lot of potassium and help me digest the shake more easily. Best of all, it’s easy to make and you don’t need a lot of ingredients.

I use variations of this basic recipe throughout the day. For a breakfast shake, I’ll mix in a cup of oatmeal instead of a banana. It’s perfect for when I need some quick, convenient nutrition and also allows me to get in two shakes per day if I need it.

To be honest, I am not really big on protein powders. I believe that whole foods are the better choice at any time of the day, period. It just doesn’t make sense that a chocolate-flavored shake can be equally as beneficial as—let alone be superior to—a juicy piece of steak with a baked potato.

That being said, many of us don’t live in a perfect world. Life doesn’t always allow us to sit down six times a day for 30 minutes to chow down a whole-food meal. A protein shake can be very handy in the morning before you rush off to work, in between classes at school, or during a two-hour movie.

As meticulous as I am in planning my daily routine, even I run into unpredictable situations and have to opt for a protein-rich meal replacement drink instead of a steaming plate of food. Still, I like to keep my shakes as close to a whole meal as possible. If I can’t be optimal, I at least strive for the best possible solution.

Instead of processed carb powders like maltodextrin, I go for naturally grown carb sources like oats, corn meal, or whole-grain rice flour. And rather than getting the protein exclusively from the powder, I also like to mix in some pasteurized liquid egg whites. That way, the shake remains closer to a real-food meal. The combination of proteins is highly anabolic because the two complement each other’s amino-acid profile. 4 Jason Huh’s Get-Huge Shake

One of my primary post-workout goals is to create an optimal anabolic environment by ingesting carbohydrates and protein. When you get glucose or other simple carbs combined with sufficient amounts of amino acids (the building blocks of muscle), you create the optimal environment for recovery and muscle growth.

People always ask me, why jasmine rice? The answer is pretty simple. In my experience, I’ve found I really like its effects on restoring muscle glycogen. Not all carbohydrates interact with the body and muscle the same way. Jasmine has a higher glycemic-index rating compared to most types of rice.

The more refined the carbohydrate, the faster it’s digested, and, therefore, the greater the insulin spike it causes. Heating rice to higher temperatures further breaks down the simplicity of an already simple carbohydrate, which in turn creates an even greater insulin spike and response. Fruits, especially those high in fructose—apples, cherries, mangos, and pears—may be better for liver glycogen storage, but also produce a nice insulin spike.

Along with these carbohydrates to spike insulin levels, I also use a high-quality whey-isolate protein and a few other performance ingredients. These ingredients are fundamental to rapid absorption and recovery. With proper nutrition and timing, hard work, and consistency, there is no limit to how much muscle you can gain. 5 Dorian Hamilton’s Anabolic Nightcap Shake

You can easily vary the consistency of the shake. If you want it to be really thick, don’t use too much almond milk. For an ice-cream consistency, use around 5 ounces of almond milk with 8-10 ice cubes. If you prefer a milkshake consistency, use about 8 ounces of almond milk and 4-6 ice cubes.