Meathead Mixology: Concocting Your Perfect Post Workout Shake

Notice, I say YOUR in the title. Everyone’s macro’s SHOULD be different, let’s avoid the cookie cutter plans for a moment. A 125 lb individual is obviously going to require a different amount of nutrients than that of a 300 lb bodybuilder, so why use the same label?

There may not be the need for you to get as in depth as I do when making my post workout shake by weighing out the grams of each ingredient but I would definitely recommend using the a similar formula. Listed below are the ingredients I use with the grams of each for myself, you may want to adjust them based on your goals and macronutrient intake. Click the ingredient to go right to great deals!

  • Waxy Maize: 25g
  • Whey Protein Isolate: 20-25g
  • Casein Protein: 10-15g
  • Creatine: 5g
  • Leucine: 3g

As you can see, there are two different types of protein listed, Whey Protein Isolate and Casein Protein. Why use both types of protein? Just as not all carbohydrates are created equal, the same goes for protein (and fat). Whey protein will be absorbed and utilized faster by your body, while casein is a slower release of amino acids into your system. Take a look at Rule 1 Protein to see the differences.

Your body reacts to, stores, and utilizes different types of each macronutrient in different ways. Some carbohydrates spike insulin short and fast, some will keep it elevated longer, some will not be stored easily in your muscle, and some will be more easily stored as fat. But that is another topic.

The carbohydrate I included is Waxy Maize. There are other options such as dextrose, maltodextrin, and other products formulated by different supplement brands. I prefer waxy-maize as it is digested very well due to its low osmolarity rate and you shouldn’t experience any bloating from it. Waxy-maize also contains 0 sugar.

I used to believe that you required a higher amount of carbohydrates post workout to help stimulate Muscle Protein Synthesis and begin the recovery process. Research has shown their to be no difference when supplementing protein post workout with a small amount (25g) or larger (75g) of carbohydrates on insulin release, which helps in muscle growth. I have a large appetite and would prefer the majority of my calories coming from whole foods which is why I only use 25g as it has the same effect. That being said, studies have also demonstrated there to be no statistically significant difference to MPS by adding carbohydrates post workout vs. protein alone, but there was clinical significance. Meaning it was trending toward a benefit but not statistically high enough to make the claim. As bodybuilders, we are looking for every advantage possible so even a small benefit (the clinical significance) is better than none.

As stated above protein synthesis can also be stimulated without carbohydrates. This is of great benefit if you are on a diet that is requiring you to stay low carb. This also means there is no need to freak out if you don’t get carbs in immediately following training, you have some time. Whey isolate as well as leucine stimulate this process via the mTOR pathway which is not dependent on insulin (released by your body when you ingest carbohydrates.)

Creatine, as you probably already know, is one of the most studied supplements EVER. Time and time again it has shown its worth in weight. Creatine has shown to aid in recovery, hypertrophy, strength and could potentially inhibit myostatin. Another benefit to creatine, it is CHEAP. I include 5g in my post workout shake and 5 grams with another meal containing carbohydrates as they aid in absorption. Avoid mixing caffeine and creatine, such as a pre-workout, as caffeine negates the ergogenic benefit of creatine. Basically, have caffeine prior to training and creatine after.

Leucine is added due to it being the limiting factor in stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis. Leucine concentration, not overall protein content of a meal has shown to be the limiting factor of stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis. Leucine, again, seems to be a direct activator of mTOR, which will stimulate MPS without insulin being present (hence avoiding the need for carbs and saving you calories if needed.) I add 3g to my shake and 3 grams to each meal post workout. This could be overkill, but I’m going for the most OPTIMAL situation and Leucine, like creatine, is cheap. At 500g for less than $30.00 on sites like, you can afford to use it with every meal to be sure you are maximally stimulating MPS.

So to recap, determine your macros and what you want to take in post workout, add your Creatine and Leucine for added benefits. Train your ass off and slam the shake!

Whey(T) a Minute, Why Isolate?

Whey Isolate. A necessity of every gym go-er and weekend warrior alike. Personally, I do not consider this to be a supplement but part of my everyday diet. I budget for it at the beginning of the month just as I do for groceries, it is that important. Yes, you can most certainly train and eat properly and have enough protein in your diet to not have to purchase any additional protein, but if you are interested in serious gains, all research points to positive results from the addition of whey isolate following your training session.

Peri-workout nutrition is the most important time to consume calories, the right calories at that. Peri-workout nutrition is the time before, during, and after your training. Pending the time of day, time of the year (on or off season, leaning or bulking) I may only focus on consuming something post-workout, but that is a whole other topic for a future article (stay tuned.) That post workout nutrition will always consist of whey isolate, though.

If I were to only purchase one item from Supplement Central, this would be it. Whey Protein is essential to consume immediately following resistance training. You can also benefit from consumption prior to your training session, again depending on your goals and time of day. Research consistently demonstrates whey isolate (WI) to improve lean muscle mass and strength gains when coupled with a proper resistance training regimen1.

Whey Isolate is a more concentrated form of protein than Whey Concentrate (WC), make sense? Simply put, that means it is a more dense form of protein, rather than containing fillers and other unnecessary ingredients to bulk up the powder and ingredient label. By definition, WI is at least 90% protein, as more fat and lactose has been filtered out. WC can contain anywhere from 29-89% protein and contains more fat and lactose, you just don’t know what you are getting which is why I tend to avoid it. Myself, I would prefer to pay slightly more and know that I am consuming a quality food to help me reach my physique goals. When consuming any form of protein, be it from food sources or supplements you want it to have as high of a biological value (BV) as possible. The higher the BV, the easier it is for your body to digest and utilize the nutrients for growth. Beef and Eggs are regarded as having high BV and would be a great component of a diet when trying to add quality mass2. When comparing the BV of the isolate and concentrate forms of whey, WI is king with an average of 30-60% higher BV. Before spending your hard earned money on a supplemental protein, READ THE LABEL. In any quality protein, Whey Isolate will be the first ingredient. If the first ingredient is concentrate, leave it on the shelf.

Check out the label on this June special from EAT THE BEAR Pure Isolate Protein. It is a pure isolate with great flavors too. It can be great for mixing with yogurt, cottage cheese, or any baking creation you might find on the web to spice up your protein treat. Regularly selling for an already lower than normal price of $52.99 from the crew at SC, June is bringing you the heat AND pure whey isolate for only $29.95!


1. The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Carey MF, Hayes A

Exercise Metabolism Unit, Center for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport (CARES), Australia. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Oct;16(5):494-509.

2. Protein, Which is Best?

International Society of Sports Nutrition Symposium, June 18-19, 2005, Las Vegas NV, USA – Symposium – Macronutrient Utilization During Exercise: Implications For Performance And Supplementation

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2004) 3, 118-130