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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.
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.