The question here about having a protein shake is: “What’s the best way to maximize the benefits of strength training?”
After all, strength training is hard work. It opens an anabolic opportunity that it is foolish not to maximize.
It’s important to remember that you don’t grow in the gym; instead, what you do in the gym should stimulate growth during recovery. Proper nutrition and recovery are as important as proper training.
The way to begin to maximize your benefits from training is to have a well-designed shake within 30 minutes of the end of a workout. I always have a protein shake within 10 minutes of finishing.
According to the research presented in NUTRIENT TIMING, the initial post-strength-training shake should have 40- 50 grams of high-glycemic carbs, about 15 grams of whey protein, 1-2 grams of leucine, and 1-2 grams of L-glutamine.
I’m not aware of any commercial product that exactly fits this description. However, Musclelink’s RecoverX comes close. It’s what I use after strength training.
If you want to try it, blend two heaping scoops of RecoverX in 8 oz. of pure, cold water. That yields: 295 calories / 40 grams of carbs / 27 grams of proteins / 3 grams fats (.5 grams saturated fat).
It also provides 7 grams of glutamine peptide. With respect to protein, this protein shake is made with whey protein concentrate and hydrolyzed whey protein; with respect to carbs, it’s made with glucose and maltodextrin. It tastes delicious. (With all the high glycemic carbs, that’s the easy part!)
This shake (or something equivalent) will help to shift your body from a catabolic to an anabolic state. It will speed the elimination of metabolic wastes and replenish muscle glycogen stores.
It will help your body initiate tissue repair and boost the immune system. Faithfully using this shake after each strength workout will make a significant difference over time.
The best shake includes whey to maximize the benefits of training during and after workouts. If you do not tolerate whey protein powder, use soy or rice protein powder in your protein shakes. If possible, though, use whey.