I’m a fitness guy. I’ve been training hard for decades. And in all that time, I have yet to find anything more restorative, filling, and delicious post-workout than a banana protein shake. I’m sharing my recipe with you now.
It’s a bit different than your typical protein shake recipe (for starters, it uses frozen, peeled banana – not room temperature). I’ve included a video below, to encourage you as you prepare your shake.
When to Have This Protein Shake
Over the years, I’ve found that the best time to eat carbs is directly after a workout.
Seasoned bodybuilders have long believed that carbohydrates after strenuous training help shuttle nutrients and amino acids into the cells when they’re most needed.
So when I arrive home after exercise – whether from the gym or an outdoor interval workout – I fire up my blender and get myself nourished right away.
Whey Isolate Protein Shake VS Standard Whey Powder
One of the key ingredients for my shake is whey protein isolate. The “isolate” is important to me as I consider that variation better than the regular whey protein powder because:
- Higher protein content: Whey protein isolate undergoes additional processing to remove more non-protein components, leaving a product that is more than 90% protein by weight. On the other hand, regular whey powder, like whey concentrate, typically contains around 70-80% protein.
- Lower lactose content: Whey protein isolate has reduced potential for allergens. It undergoes additional filtration and processing and may have fewer allergenic components, which can benefit those with milk protein allergies. The filtration removes most of the lactose. Whey powder, especially whey concentrate, contains higher levels of lactose, which can cause digestive discomfort (especially in lactose-intolerant individuals). Who needs the bloat?
- Faster absorption: Whey protein isolate is typically considered a fast-digesting protein source and can be quickly absorbed by the body, making it ideal for post-workout recovery when the muscles need immediate nutrition.
Other Ingredients You’ll Need for This Protein Shake
The ingredients you’ll need for a banana protein shake are:
- Banana. (I keep a large ziplock bag filled with peeled, frozen bananas in my freezer.)
- Plant protein powder. Some brands are made with a lot of soy or pea protein, but personally, I prefer the kind made with mostly hemp and rice protein.
- Whey protein isolate.
- Unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened coconut milk. I buy these by the case from a discount box store. I buy almost all the ingredients in bulk to get a better price.
- Cocoa powder.
- Unsweetened plain Greek yogurt (or non-dairy cultured coconut milk “yogurt.”)
- Vanilla extract.
- Cold water.
A Protein Shake Can Help You With Muscle
Both men and women benefit by having muscle. The older you get, the more important and valuable muscle is. Whether you want to look like a thick and powerful bodybuilder or a lean and shapely athlete with firmed, toned limbs, a protein shake can be helpful in your quest for obtaining a healthier physique.
There are several key points about eating for hypertrophy – muscle growth – that many people may not fully understand but would benefit from knowing.
Caloric Surplus and Protein Intake
However, if you are a mature athlete over the age of 45, proceed cautiously. Try to consume a calorie surplus of only 100 to 150 calories more than you burn – it gets harder to lose fat as you get older so you have to be careful with “bulking phases.”
Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. Aim for about 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, depending on your training intensity and goals. If longevity is more important to you than hypertrophy, keep it closer to 1.2 grams. If hypertrophy is more important to you than longevity (like, if you’re preparing for an event, such as an upcoming wedding or photo shoot), consider consuming closer to 2.2 grams.
Meal and Snack Timing (and Frequency)
While the total daily nutrient intake matters most, the distribution of protein and calories throughout the day can also be relevant.
Aim to evenly distribute protein intake across meals to maximize muscle protein synthesis.
Eating protein-rich meals before and after workouts can be particularly beneficial, so a protein shake can be especially convenient.
Importance of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are essential for providing the energy required to train intensely.
Carbs replenish glycogen stores, which support muscle function during exercise. Don’t completely neglect carbs in your diet if you’re doing a lot of cardio or weight-bearing resistance fitness sessions.
On days when I don’t exercise, I might get all of my carbs from vegetables only, plus a little fruit. However, I might also have a small portion of white rice or lentils on heavy exercise days.
Healthy Fats are Necessary
Healthy fats play a role in hormone production, including hormones like testosterone – crucial for muscle growth and repair.
Incorporate sources of unsaturated fats such as avocados, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, sprouted seeds, and olive oil into your diet. Not too much, but enough to meet your body’s needs.
Proper hydration is often overlooked yet critical for optimal muscle function and recovery.
Dehydration can impair performance and hinder muscle growth.
Drink an abundance of water throughout the day, especially during exercise.
Adding some sea salt and other electrolytes to your workout beverage might also benefit you. This depends on the person. For example, I’ve noticed when I’m eating less carbs, I keep less water “under the skin,” which is great for muscular definition, but it also means that I must be more careful to replenish electrolytes as needed.
Progressive Overload is Key
While nutrition is essential for hypertrophy, you must also focus on progressive overload during your training. Gradually increasing the resistance or intensity of your workouts challenges your muscles, stimulating growth.
Rest and Recovery are Also Crucial
Muscle growth occurs during rest and recovery periods, not just during exercise.
Be sure to get abundant sleep and allow your muscles time to recover between intense training sessions.
Many athletes I know who are in their fifties or beyond will train only two or three days in a row, then take one day off. Listen to the unique needs of your own body. If your resting heart rate seems more elevated than it should be, that’s possibly a sign that you need to take a day off from training.
Everyone’s body responds differently to training and nutrition. What works for one person may not work for another. I encourage you to experiment and find an approach that suits your lifestyle best.
Consistency is Key
Building muscle takes time and consistent effort. Don’t expect immediate results.
Stick to a well-balanced nutrition plan and exercise routine for the long term to see significant hypertrophy gains.
Supplements are Supplementary
Individualized advice from your medical doctor can be a wise idea, especially if you’re thinking about making significant changes to your eating or movement patterns.
- 2 peeled, frozen bananas.
- 1 heaping Tablespoon of plant protein powder.
- 1 heaping Tablespoon of whey protein isolate.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk.
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder.
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened plain Greek yogurt (or non-dairy cultured coconut milk "yogurt.")
- 6 pecan halves.
- 2 dashes of cinnamon.
- 1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract.
- 1 cup cold water.
- 6 ice cubes.
- Add all the ingredients in the order they are listed.
- Break the bananas in half or thirds before placing the chunks in the blender.
- If you shake freezes up during blender. Turn off the blender, "burp" your carafe, then add another Tablespoon of water. Continue blending, starting at low speed and gradually getting faster.
Makes 2 shakes, or 1 giant shake. You are encouraged to use an online calculator to determine your daily caloric allotment. Then, stay within that allotment while also hitting your daily target of protein grams (an online calculator can be also be used to determine your daily protein target based on your age, height, weight, and physical activity level). Ask your doctor before making any significant changes to your eating habits or movement patterns.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 54mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 12g
About 235 calories per glass, but it depends on what brands you use, and how meticulous you are in measuring (how level your teaspoons and tablespoons are, etc.). Please be responsible for adding up the calories and macros for your own snacks and meals, as what's provided here is only an approximation.
It’s Time to Use Your Blender
The higher quality your blender and the more powerful its motor, the easier it is to create a milkshake-like, creamy texture for this healthier banana protein shake recipe for your post-workout restoration (nuts and ice tend not to blend as well with lower-quality blenders).
Conclusion on the Profound Benefits of a Post-Workout Protein Shake
The journey towards a healthier, more muscular physique begins with proper nutrition and post-workout recovery.
The banana protein shake recipe presented here is delicious and strategically designed to replenish your muscles after a strenuous workout.
With the inclusion of whey protein isolate, this shake offers higher protein content, reduced lactose, and faster absorption, making it an ideal choice for those seeking effective post-workout nutrition.
Additionally, combining bananas, plant protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, and coconut milk creates a delicious taste and creamy texture that will satisfy and energize you.
As you embark on your quest for muscle tone and overall health, remember the key principles highlighted in this article:
- Properly fuel your body with a balanced diet, ensuring an adequate protein intake and a mindful approach to carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Hydration and rest are essential, as is progressive overload during training.
- Each individual’s body is unique, so take the time to discover what works best for you.
Consistency is key, and though results may not be immediate, the patience and dedication you invest will pay off in the long run.
Keep your freezer stocked with frozen bananas, and with just a few minutes of preparation, you can enjoy a delicious and muscle-restoring treat whenever you desire.
As I’ve mentioned, a diet incorporating various foods in the correct proportions is essential to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients and cofactors for optimal health. Consider the ingredients that I’ve shared in this article:
• Pecans are rich in several essential minerals such as manganese, copper, and zinc. They also contain the antioxidant vitamin E, which plays a role in protecting cells from oxidative damage.
• Almond milk contains healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.
• Unsweetened coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs), which are easily digestible fats that, in modest doses, aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and certain phytonutrients. Fats are also involved in synthesizing several hormones, including sex hormones.
• Whey Protein Isolate is a high-quality protein source containing all essential amino acids important for muscle repair and growth.
• Rice protein powder is a hypoallergenic and easily digestible protein source.
• Hemp protein powder is a good source of minerals and even provides omega-3 fatty acids.
• Cocoa powder is not only a magnesium source but also contains flavonoids.
• Greek yogurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. More importantly, it’s a good source of probiotics, which support gut health.
• Cinnamon has been shown to have potential benefits in reducing the severity of blood sugar spikes. It also contains polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
• Bananas are a good source of potassium, and they contain the dietary fiber pectin, which supports digestive health.
• And, of course, water helps transport nutrients, electrolytes, and oxygen throughout the body and supports the various organs, joints, and processes. Approximately 60% of the human adult body is water. It’s THE vital element.
This Banana Protein Shake can help to restore your body, including your muscles, directly after a strenuous workout. Also, it tastes delicious.
Take pride in the fact that you’re nurturing your body and taking the necessary steps towards a healthier and more muscular you.