To protein shake, or not to protein shake. That is the question.
I get asked a lot of questions about what protein shake to drink, when to eat, and what to do before heading to the gym.
There are a lot of opinions about this in the fitness industry. Some people eat a big meal right after the gym, some drink a protein shake and some people don’t eat at all!
I know what works for me, so I thought it might be helpful to share my pre-gym and post-gym routine, just to give you an idea. This is what I recommend when it comes to a pre and post gym routine.
Before the Gym…
- I wake up around 7 AM pretty consistently. I start my morning by getting myself in the right frame of mind. I immediately drink some cold water with a squeeze of lemon. If you think about it, you really haven’t had anything to drink for at least 8 hours and you need to keep hydrated for your body systems to work properly.
- Next I start work with A-List Fitness. I’m writing, emailing, making calls, checking in with clients. At this time, around 9:00 AM, I haven’t had a big breakfast yet. In fact, I usually only have a small cup of black coffee with a little bit of coconut oil mixed in. I am a person who needs that extra caffeine boost, and by adding 1 teaspoon of coconut oil into my coffee, I’m getting a small does of healthy fat, which helps you stay fuller longer, and is essential for a healthy body. Caffeine often gets a bad wrap, but really drinking black coffee is a great fat burner because it helps boost your metabolism. Of course, this should all be within moderation.
- Around 10 AM, I eat my first big meal of the day- 3 eggs, 2 organic sausages, 1 cup of kale. I’m also a fan of finishing off any meal with something fun, so I’ll have some Greek yogurt with fruit or a protein shake with ¼ cup of oats- both of which are my not-so-guilty pleasures.
- Next up in my pre-gym routine is actually getting prepared for the gym. My favorite gym time is at 11 AM. It’s not super crowded at my gym at this time and I’ll still have plenty of time left in my day. Before I leave for the gym, I drink a pre-workout supplement. My favorite is a plant based, non-toxic supplement called Phytosport. A good pre-workout drink usually helps to promote nitric oxide in your body, which helps get oxygen to your blood. I love this particular brand because I never feel a crash after my workout.
- I’m in the gym for 1 to 2 hours. I stay hydrated by drinking water or a hydration drink- I’m not talking about Gatorade. You have to be very careful with these “sports drinks.” There can be a ton of added sugar. And if you know anything about my A-List 8, it’s that SUGAR SUCKS!
After the Gym…
- Once I get back home from the gym, I start drinking my post workout Phytosport supplement. Its main purpose is to aid in recovery with Branch Chain Amino Acids. These are essential for muscle repair and growth.
- Then almost immediately, I make a protein shake. I add in extra creatine and glutamine supplements for recovery.
- About an hour after I’ve finished my shake, I start cooking a good meal. I usually have skinless chicken breasts, 1 cup of vegetables like kale or broccoli, and then a whole lot of sweet potatoes. (Check out my recipes here.)
- The next part of my day varies. Either I’m getting ready for my other jobs, or I get back into work on A-List Fitness.
- Towards mid-afternoon, I prep my next big meal. The rest of the day, I eat pretty light- I might fill up on more protein shakes, protein bars, fruit…etc.
If you’re keeping track, my total gym routine includes…
Everyone has their own school of thought on pre and post gym routines. The bottom line is that it’s important to fuel your body. The only way you can grow muscle is if you take care of yourself and get rest and the right nutrients to help your body develop. So whether you fill up on a meal right after the gym or if you only want a lighter protein shake, just know that you are helping your body recover.
If you have any questions about my routine or want more info about the all-natural Phytosport supplement line shoot me an email at GetAListFit@gmail.com or just click here.
What’s you favorite post workout ritual? Looking forward to reading your comments below.