When I was in high school, protein shakes were the big thing. My siblings and I were all athletes and even our dad bought into it. Our trainings and competitions were always followed up with a vanilla or chocolate protein shake. Sadly, all this did was slow down our livers, in my opinion. As a girl, I definitely didn’t notice any muscle gain and fat loss. In fact, I was already strong and probably didn’t need any extra supplementation, but just a little food guidance. You would think after all these years that protein shakes wouldn’t still be a thing, but they are.
If you’re looking to build muscle, let’s take you through the right way to do it. I would be silly to make you think that one food group could do the trick or even that a few correct snacks could do the trick. Remember, it’s all about consistency and lifestyle changes. Combining your food properly at least 70% of the time and getting workouts in at your correct heart rate is key. Here’s a secret: high heart rate workouts actually can burn sugar from your muscles, so contrary to what you may have thought, slowing down is another key to building muscle.
One last thing—timing your meals is another good way to fuel the muscular system. While you may not feel like eating right after your workout, getting one of these snacks within an hour (ideally 30 minutes) post-workout is key.
Rather than just focusing on protein, let’s make sure we’re including all three macros, because they help each other to replenish cells in your muscles. Here are some of my favorite go-tos over the years, along with a couple of recipes that I love to whip up.
• Rice cakes topped with either hard-boiled eggs, avocado and tomato, or nut butter and berries, sprinkled with hemp seeds and cinnamon.
• Coconut yogurt mixed with low-sugar granola, collagen peptides, and berries.
• Dark chocolate pumpkin seeds
• Chomps beef stick and an apple
• Two string cheeses and an orange
• Green smoothie with collagen peptides (recipe below)
• Protein pancakes (recipe below)