Warming Up: Why Bother?
Don't skip this vital part of your workout routine.
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A couple of years ago, my husband offered me a protein shake after our workout. It was an awful experience. Not only did the shake taste terrible, it had an unrecognizable laundry list of ingredients. Although I knew that some form of post-workout protein was good for me, I still had a mental hang-up about consuming calories after I just worked so hard to burn them off.
There can be a stigma around eating or drinking protein post-workout. I used to worry about calories in versus calories out, not to mention the "bulk and biceps" that many assume come along with an imbalance. After receiving my health coaching certification, it became even more apparent to me how essential consuming protein is to an individual’s fitness routine. I quickly learned that my clients were just as confused about the benefits of post-workout protein as I had been!
This thinking sound familiar? The truth is that post-workout recovery isn't a game of math, and contrary to popular belief, protein won't bulk you up (it doesn’t help that most commercial protein shakes include elements we can barely pronounce). That’s why we created Après—clean, plant-based protein beverages with minimal ingredients. We are all about whole body replenishment. Here’s how Après can help you upgrade your current thinking about protein shakes and benefit your fitness routine:
Whether you just finished a hardcore HIIT class, hot yoga or a new Pilates sequence, working out breaks down your muscles. These muscles will either grow back stronger than they were before or break down even more. It all depends on how and when you feed them. Within the first 30 minutes of completing your workout, your muscles are best primed to absorb nutrients—especially protein.
When your muscles are properly fed, they grow back stronger than they did before. Stronger muscles improve your metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories throughout the day. Let's be clear though; strong muscles don't necessarily mean bigger, bulkier muscles. At Après, we are particularly obsessed with plant proteins (obviously) and combine the best of the best from organic pea, chia, cacao, and hemp. This means a robust BCAA profile plus added vitamins and minerals. Our drinks are good for your body and your palate.
You just burned 400 calories in your workout—so why put calories back into your body right away? It can seem counterintuitive, but when you eat the right post-workout snack, not only are you fueling your muscles, but you're substituting fewer current calories in place of more in the future. Protein helps control ghrelin, your hunger hormone, so try consuming around 13 grams of protein post-workout (exactly how many are in an Après!) to keep you full, energized and out of the office snack drawer.
As they say, you are what you eat. Your hair is made of proteins, so when you don't eat enough, your locks suffer. At Après, we love adding a plant protein like hemp into our drinks because it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's contain GLA (or gamma-linolenic acid), which can help your hair grow faster. Plus, as you already know, your body is ready to absorb more protein and nutrition than usual after a workout, so drinking Après can benefit more than just your muscles.
Adding protein to your fitness routine can help your body in more ways than one. It's also great for skin and nails, keeps you energized and can even help you think more clearly. When you don't consume protein immediately post-workout, you're doing more harm than good. So, give back to your body and sip on that Après protein shake with style.