Why I Don’t Drink A Post Workout Shake

As the land I’ve staked in this corner of the internet begins to expand, 
one of the questions I’m asked most is “what do you have in your post workout shake?”


With a nod to the tepid stench emanating from unwashed shaker cups tossed carelessly onto the back seat of your car, suspicious looking piles of protein powder dotted amongst gym locker rooms, passenger seats, and gym bags, post-workout protein shakes are the trademark of many a meathead these days.

But, not this one.

My dear meathead, here’s the thing.

I don’t drink a post-workout shake, and dire circumstances aside, I detest the idea of protein shakes.

Not because I don’t believe that they “work,” or don’t serve a purpose (quite the opposite, to be honest). Fret not, though. I won’t leave you hanging here.

I’m going to tell why I don’t immediately knock back a mediocre, watered down protein shake after training, and what I do instead.

Liquid calories can burn

Many meatheads will start drinking post-workout shakes on the same day they first step foot into the gym. Which at the time, is often a good thing. Operating under the assumption of little nutritional knowledge on day one, at least you’re getting in some nutrients right after training.

But, really, what do those 16 ounces of clumpy, poorly mixed, oddly flavoured powder do for you? Chances are you’ll be starving in about 45 minutes.

Enter the first reason of why I avoid protein shakes like the plague.

Your appetite and satiety

They’re simply not filling.

If I’m paying attention to how much food I’m eating each day, there’s not a chance in hell I’m going to willingly opt for a a shitty shake over a perfectly grilled slab of dead animal to hit my protein goal for the day. As well, I can all but guarantee that said piece of meat will keep me satisfied for a lot longer than a sparsely flavoured glass of water will.

Spinning off the above…

Dieting means that calories are sparse

Which serves to fortify the reason for picking something that will keep me satisfied and not thinking about food over a shake that will be in and out of me before I make it home.

Lastly, I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t stand the taste of protein shakes anymore. I’ll chalk that up to *possibly* overdoing them in my teenage lifting years.

As for what you can do instead, since them there post-workout shakes do serve the purpose of delivering nutrients to your starved muscle tissue.

Take in nutrients during your session

Having a steady intake of nutrients while you train eliminates the need to get in protein and carbs immediately following your training session.

Click here to check out the MASSthetics recipe for the Ultimate Intra Workout Shake.

If you’re taking in nutrients while you train, your natural blood flow will be shuttling nutrient-rich blood to your working muscles, providing fuel to push through your session and aid recovery.

Which also tends to have the neat side effect in that you don’t finish your session starved, thus, eliminating the rush to get in a meal.

At the end of the day, though…

Does it really matter?

Chances are, probably not. So long as you’re getting in enough protein over the course of the day, do yourself a favour, and spare yourself from salivating over the minutia. The only instances in which salivating over the minutia becomes necessary, is if you’re in contest prep, or an advanced client.

That being said, if you prefer shakes because of convenience, and you know you won’t be able to eat a solid meal for a couple hours, I’d absolutely use a post-workout shake. This is a great example of the “dire circumstances” I mentioned above.

Lastly, the one other occasion I might consider implementing a post-workout shake is in the thick of improvement season, when calories are high, and worrying about being hungry is a good bit of comedy.

The final reps

Since I’m already writing about post-workout shakes, and would rather not come near this topic again anytime soon, let’s get the inevitable question out of the way.

If I had to, here’s what would be in my post-workout shake:

Since I prefer to pass on less-than-filling-post-workout shakes, here’s what I typically eat after training (amounts not given, because they vary wildly).

  • Lean protein (chicken breast, ground turkey, egg white)
  • Rice or Sweet Potato (I make this the bulk of my carbs for the meal)
  • White cheddar rice cakes
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomato
  • Bell peppers
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms

The way I see it, you’ve got two choices.

#1. Skip the intra-workout nutrition, and stick to your trusty, less-than-filling post workout shake.


#2. Give your muscle tissue the fuel it craves during your session, eliminate the stress of jamming a swampy protein shake down your throat within minutes of finishing your session, and enjoy a delicious, satisfying meal when you get home.

And so it is.


PS. If you grab any of the above supplements from True Nutrition, use the code AXM750 when you make your way to the checkout. It’ll save you some coin on your order. Coin that you can use to buy more chicken breast, or chocolate chip cookies. Your move.

PPS. 4 out of 5 lifters will let their rationalization hamster run wild. Convincing themselves they’re making progress…yet you build no muscle, and burn no fat. The 5th lifter joined the MASSthetics Clan and put the information within the (free) Hypertrophy Handbook to good use. He no longer has to rationalize his progress. He simply is. Click here to become the 5th lifter, and let me know where to send the prestigious Hypertrophy Handbook.