Once upon a time I ran an experiment.
It was a 20 minute drive from the gym to my house.
From the moment my workout ended until the time I got home was about 45 minutes. (shower and/or stretching included)
For 2 months I went without a post-workout protein shake.
I'm sure you've heard or seen something about how important the post-workout shake is. Also the ever-elusive "post-workout window".
I was on a mission to see if I would notice any difference without the usual shake I had been having for 10 years.
For the sake of science I didn't change anything else about my diet. I didn't have chocolate milk or some other type of drink post-workout either. Just water.
The results? Nothing changed. Except I felt less bloated without the whey protein and milk I often added to the shakes.
After I got home I would cook a normal meal. Some meat, veggies, a potato or rice.
At first, I felt nervous. Worried that I would lose some of my muscle gains. Maybe the post-workout-window really was only the first 45 minutes after I stopped my workout.
But over time, these concerns went away.
I realized that my diet over the course of the day, is more important than one small shake.
Unless you don't eat much all day or you are doing grueling 3 hour-long sessions, you probably don't NEED that shake.
So Why is the Post-Workout Shake Important?
So the point of this article was to show you why you need a post-workout shake, and here I'm saying the opposite. What gives?
The reason why I feel the post-workout shake is important is because it helps people build healthy habits.
You have to workout first. That's one healthy habit. Then after, you consume some solid nutrition. Two healthy habits. If you do this 3 times a week you will notice a difference.
Before you ask what kind of protein powder is best, what to put into the shake and other questions.. let me just lay out some ideas for you here..
1- Shakes are a great way to add in some greens. Whether it's spinach, kale or a greens powder supplement.
2- A great way to get in some extra fiber through chia seeds, flax seeds.
3- Mixed berries are great for you and help make a shake taste much better.
Get your workout in today and have a post-workout shake too! Not because some magazine or the salesman at the supplement shop tells you to, but because it's a healthy habit and you worked hard to have the little reward.
That's how I look at the shake now. It's a little reward for after my hard work.
Bonus that it's good for the body as well.