If you frequent the gym regularly, you probably know how difficult it is to fulfill your daily requirement of protein without a protein shake. Most people prefer to buy commercially available protein supplements but I prefer a homemade protein shake.
Side Effects of Protein Supplements
The thing with commercial protein supplements is that you never know what’s in them. Most protein supplements are full of artificial ingredients, which can wreck havoc on your body. Most protein powders contain processed ingredients that lack many vital nutrients. That is why it is always better to choose the natural route since it ensures that you are getting all the important nutrients. Protein supplements also cost quite a lot. Why spend a fortune to supply your body with artificial and processed ingredients? Lastly, remember that people were able to get in good shape long before protein supplements were introduced. We have been led to think that muscle building is not possible without protein supplements. This, of course, is a fallacy. Instead of buying protein supplements, go for a homemade protein shake.
Homemade Protein Shake
What is a protein shake? It is simply any shake/smoothie/drink that helps you fulfill your daily protein requirements. There are plenty of great recipes available online to make your own homemade shake. I am a light eater, and I am always looking for ways to increase my calorie intake. My body does not react well to heavy shakes. My body is not a big fan of milk either. Maybe it is because of my Asian roots, as most Asians are said to be lactose intolerant. However, I suspect that it is because the packaged milk we buy from supposedly socially responsible, concerned multinationals is not pure. It is full of preservatives, and artificial ingredients. We do not even know how much milk is actually inside those boxes. Anyhow, so after years of research and experimentation (do I sound a little like a scientist here?) I have come up with my own version of a homemade protein shake. It is light, nutritious, and easy to digest. What more can we ask for, right?
|Barley Porridge||1 cup||270|
|Water||Half cup or As required|
|Almonds (soaked overnight)||2||14|
|Peanut Butter||2 tablespoons||180|
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend to get a shake. If you want your shake to be lighter, add more water.
Ingredients At A Glance
You might be wondering what barley is doing in the shake as more people prefer oats. For starters, I have a natural affinity towards barley. Barley has been touted for its healing properties. In older times, sick and dying patients were given barley porridge either with dates or honey to improve their health. Barley, dates (especially dried dates), and honey is a very powerful combination. Apart from that, I think oat is more widely used in the western countries. Here in Pakistan, barley porridge is a breakfast meal for many. It is fulfilling and energizing. When I am out of barley porridge, I go for wheat porridge. I have nothing against oats, just by the way. If you like oats, replace barley with oats by all means. Oats are full of manganese, which is used by the human body to form bones and connective tissues. Manganese also helps the body with carbohydrate and fat metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and calcium absorption. Oats also have protein, fiber, zinc and many other nutrients. Look for oats that aren’t too processed, as the highly processed ones aren’t as nutritional. This is also one of the reasons why I like barley. I just buy raw barley and make porridge. This way I know what I have is the real deal. Barley is also full of manganese, molybdenum, selenium, fiber, and other important nutrients. Barley also has protein, but a slightly lesser amount than oats. Barley is also a soothing food and helps to keep your mental health in check. Barley also aids in digestion.
Banana is the go-to fruit for all gymers. Bananas contain a unique blend of minerals, vitamins, and low glycemic carbohydrates. A lot of people aiming to build muscles make the mistake of focusing too much on protein and neglecting carbohydrates. Lack of carbs can increase the chances of muscle damage. Your homemade protein shake needs some carbs as carbs lead to an increase in the movement of nutrients into muscle tissue. Bananas also keep energy levels up and prevent muscle cramps.
Honey is truly a miracle food. Honey contains natural sugars, vitamins, pollens, minerals, and protein. Honey provides you instant energy and maintains your blood sugar levels. Honey also helps your body heal and recover faster. Honey is also full antioxidants, which can protect your body from the effects of oxidation after a workout. If you plan to make a jug of this shake to drink throughout the day, honey will act as a preservative.
You can replace milk with yogurt if you want, but I prefer yogurt. Yogurt aids gut health as it full of probiotics. Yogurt is full of calcium which is essential for healthy bones. Yogurt is also a rich source of protein, including whey protein, which is rich in essential amino acids. Yogurt also has some carbs in it.
Like I have mentioned before, I am a light eater. I cannot drink heavy shakes. If you are like me, adding water to your shakes is a smart choice. Water will make your shake lighter. A water based shake is easier to digest as opposed to a milk based shake. If you can handle milk, you can replace water with milk in your shake.
Dates are full of fiber, iron, potassium, B-vitamins, pantothenic acid, copper, magnesium, and many other nutrients. Dates are very energizing and powerful. If you are trying to increase weight, you can increase the number of dates in your shake.
Soak your almonds overnight before using them in your shake. Dates are full of Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and protein. Soaking almonds releases digestive enzymes and make them more digestible. You can add more almonds if you would like. You can also go for almond butter.
Peanut butter is full of potassium, protein, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Peanut butter helps you recover after a workout. It also gives you energy for your next workout. Peanut butter is also an affordable and convenient way of adding more calories to your diet.
I have been drinking this shake for a month and I have noticed an improvement in my gut health. As you may already know, your health depends on your gut health. Digestive problems like constipation can give birth to many health problems. This homemade protein shake is also very refreshing. You can tweak this shake and customize it according to your taste. Sometimes, I add strawberries to my shake. In the summer months, you can also add mangos and cheekoos.
Also Read: SIZZLERZ KARACHI: TANTALIZE YOUR TASTE BUDS!