Try to create the ideal pre- and post-workout meals from information you find on the internet and you’ll wind up subtracting foods as quickly as you add them. You’ll find something like this:
- Greek yogurt is a must before your workout because of all that protein. Don’t eat dairy before a workout because it digests too slowly.
- Eat peanut butter before a workout. Except if you don’t digest fats all that well.
- Consume a whole bunch of carbs. Just make sure they’re the right kind of carbs, whatever that means.
Yeah, it’s confusing and contradictory. So, we’ve created a tasty shake that contains the nutrients you need before and after your workout. And, it’s a great chaser for Alpha Lipoic Acid that, for all its metabolic benefits, just doesn’t really appeal to most palates.
Why you need pre- and post-workout fuel
If you’re looking to build muscle, which you should be because having more muscle is the easiest way to have less fat, you need carbs. Here’s how it works. Muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just by existing. It’s also how to get definition and curves in the right places. And, for the ladies who think building muscle will make them “bulk up,” that is simply not true unless you go on a monster eating binge and train all weight bearing exercises 5 days a week in the optimal rep range for muscle growth. What building muscle in conjunction with a clean diet will do is shape your body to look more like the women modeling the workout leggings. That’s muscle that gives them the definition.
Carbs feed muscles and enable them to grow. Protein helps muscles recover. Training your muscles creates micro-tears that are part of the process of both growing them and making them stronger. Protein helps repair these tears so the muscles adapt to the training and help you meet your goals.
Fruits for pre- and post-workout
A banana is one of the ultimate workout foods. It contains the electrolyte potassium that you lose in sweat, so it’s valuable after a sweat session. And it’s a great source of carbs for pre-workout fuel and post-workout recovery.
Strawberries are also some of the perfect carbs for training. They’re easy to digest and contain a significant amount of Vitamin C to help fortify the immune system that takes a bit of a nosedive during strenuous exercise.
Oats for complex carbs
Oats are a great source of carbs for before and after training because they keep you going. All carbs convert to the sugar glucose in the digestive system. Glucose travels through the bloodstream to the cells where it burns for energy to fuel our muscles when we exercise and to grow our muscles after we’re done working them. Some carbs are simple (like those in sports drinks), which means they don’t contain fiber, thus digest super quickly and send a rush of glucose into the bloodstream that can’t always be of use to the cells. Oats are complex carbs. They contain fiber, which makes for slower digestion and without the blood sugar spikes and crashes of simple sugars. Oats, strawberries, and bananas help you achieve better sustained energy.
Whey protein to repair muscles
Now the protein. Whey is a complete protein, meaning that it has all the essential amino acids that your muscles need to repair and grow. Most plant protein sources, with the exception of hemp, have an incomplete amino acid profile thus most sports nutritionists do not see them as ideal for muscle recovery. Collagen protein is a similar story. Luckily whey protein is easy to find and not too expensive. Just make sure you see the banned substance free seal on the container. There are so many brands that it’s not hard to find a quality product.
Whey is the standard for pre- and post-workout protein because it is fast and easy to digest (for those without dairy intolerance).
For people who do not tolerate dairy or are vegan, you can find a plant protein blend that has a complete amino acid profile to replace whey.
Creatine to support strength and muscle mass
Creatine occurs naturally in our muscle cells to help produce the energy we need to work out. The internet is filled with misinformation about creatine as a supplement, leading many to conflate it with hormonal supplements for mass gaining. This could not be further from the truth. As authors of a 2007 article detailing the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s official stand on creatine supplementation write, “Creatine has become one of the most extensively studied and scientifically validated nutritional ergogenic aids for athletes.”
Numerous studies present evidence that creatine supplementation helps to increase lean muscle mass and muscular strength.
Alpha Lipoic Acid to get all those nutrients to the right place
And now the star of the recipe: Lypo-Spheric® R-Alpha Lipoic Acid. This nutrient carries glucose from the bloodstream to the cells for conversion to energy. So, it should be no surprise that alpha lipoic acid in combination with sucrose (found in bananas), improves creatine uptake in muscle cells.
If you’ve been reading our blog and posts at all, you know that all nutrients are subject to absorption challenges (it’s our raison d’être) and that nutrients interact to enhance or sabotage one another. Pretty much, alpha lipoic acid helps all the nutrients you need for the most efficient gym session get to the cells where you need them.
How to Make the Pre+Post Shake
- 1 packet Lypo-Spheric® R-Alpha Lipoic Acid
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop whey protein (flavor of your choice, but we recommend a fruit, vanilla, or unflavored)
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 tsp. unflavored creatine powder
- Place strawberries in blender, followed by banana, oats, whey, and creatine.
- Add enough water for the shake to blend smoothly.
- Blend until it is smoothie consistency.
- Pour an ounce of the shake into your LivOn Labs shot glass.
- Squeeze a packet of Lypo-Spheric® R-Alpha Lipoic Acid into the shot glass.
- Throw it back like any other shot.
- Enjoy half of the shake before your workout and the other half after.