Bodybuilding is an extreme sport, period. To be a bodybuilder involves so much more than going to the gym and lifting weights. One must be willing to eat, drink, and sleep bodybuilding. Literally! Outside of the gym, these are the most important things you do as a bodybuilder. That is, if you want to experience ANY gains from working out. If one of the links are broken, the whole chain breaks, and so will your body!
We’ve all heard it before, “you should always drink plenty of water”. It can’t be stressed enough. However, I believe that too much of anything is detrimental. So, yes, you can drink too much water! Experiment with different quantities and find out what works best for you.
One of the most misunderstood concepts in the world of muscle building is the protein drink. I remember when I first started supplementing my diet with protein shakes. Some of my friends asked if I had noticed any differences in my training like I was on steroids or something. If that was the only time I had been asked similar questions, I wouldn’t worry as much, but since it is so common, I’ve decided to address the point and even show you a couple of my favourite muscle building drinks.
First of all, realise that a muscle building drink is just a substitute for food. It doesn’t have any magical properties, its the nutritional equivalent of grabbing a chicken breast and putting it in the blender. While your protein drink should taste a helluva lot better than a blended chicken, it’s essentially delivering the same thing.
Now, lets look into making the best muscle building drinks out there. What you want to put in these will depend on what you personally like and what you are drinking it for.
I know that last statement will be a surprise to many of you. But the nutritional makeup of your protein drink should depend on what you’re drinking it for. Let me explain. If you are about to workout, you want your shake to be full of protein and slow releasing carbs, so you have the energy to work out at your maximum potential.
However, if you want to have a shake after your training session, you will still want plenty of protein, but you will want faster energy releasing carbs, so you can repair your muscles as quickly as possible. Make sense Don’t worry if it doesn’t, just accept it for the time being.
Now, my favourite type of shake is pretty straight forward. I get 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition protein powder and add it to 150mL of skim milk. Mix it together in the blender and down the hatch. Simple, tasty and very nutritious. If you wanted to turn it into a pre-workout shake, I would add some oats. It may seem a bit weird, but oats and protein powder were simply made to go together and it will help give you the right fuel for your workout.
If you wanted to turn this muscle building drink into a post workout drink, I would recommend adding some high GI carbs, such as dextrose. You can pick this up just about anywhere, it’s just a fancy name for sugar.
Another thing to consider with muscle building drinks is that it’s not a science. Put whatever good foods in that you want. Raspberries are another great ingredient to add. Just use your head a little and try and come up with some exciting, tasty and nutritious ways to spice up your muscle building drinks.