“Protein shakes are scary. They’re what the scary beefy men at the gym drink, the ones who used to scowl at me when I would taking up the weight machines doing leg presses with the dainty little 7KG’s. What if I try a protein shake and do it wrong and somehow end up putting weight on? Because knowing my luck that would happen to me. Are they instead of food? Do they go with food? Snacks? Do I have to rejoin the gym? What flavour is protein anyway, and is it minging?“
All thoughts that ran through my head when Jenny from My Protein emailed me and asked if I wanted to try some out. Not being one to shy away from a challenge I set about doing my research and decided to give it a whirl.
I found out there are two main types of basic protein shakes; intra/pre workout, and post workout.
Intra/pre workout shakes are designed for use before or during working out, ideal for if you prefer to work out before you eat anything – these usually contain some form of stimulant to help you along like guava, caffeine, or green tea. The idea is to try and prevent the breakdown of muscle during a workout. Sounds fabulous for those who are into it, but I can just about get myself out of bed in time for work, let along get out of bed and do an entire workout before breakfast.
Post workout shakes are more up my street – these are intended for use after a workout. They use protein to repair the damage to, and grow the muscle following the damage caused by a workout.
There are a few different types of protein available, explained perfectly here.
I had my friend (who is basically my personal trainer (disclaimer: not actually a personal trainer, just genuinely knows her stuff)) drew me up a food and exercise plan I could do with the equipment I have at home; no gym re-joining in sight.
I took a half scoop of protein mixed with water at breakfast time with my breakfast, and on training days I took a full scoop with water, after my workout. The cookies and cream flavour shake is tasty, satiated to my sweet tooth, and – thankfully – was not at all minging. Some days I opted to have a protein cookie instead of a shake after my workout – chewier than I expected but still delish.
I was drinking 3 litres of water per day, 1-2 of which I used Total Nutri Greens with. Total Nutri Greens are a tropical flavour food supplement including Spirulina, Wheat grass, Acerola Berry, Broccoli, Spinach leaf, Pomegranate, Apple fibre, Tomato, Elderberry, Blueberry and Chlorella, to be taken throughout the day – kind of like good-for-you-squash. My skin has been looking better – whether that’s down to the greens or the increased water intake I’m not sure, but I’m not questioning it! I’m just continuing with it and glowing in the process.
I took my measurements, and weighed myself on day one, and then again a week later. I lost at least half an inch everywhere, and 7lb! In a week! Plus I feel kind of amazing; full of energy, and oddly waking up in the morning is not as difficult as it used to be. I used to hate exercise, but I found that it wasn’t hard to keep it up. I don’t know if that was down to following a HIIT exercise plan and discovering I quite enjoy it, or if it was down to the protein… But either way, it’s something I’ll be keeping up.
There are all manner of deals going on over on My Protein at the moment if you fancy giving it a whirl!