Advice for A Balanced Protein Shake

Advice for A Balanced Protein Shake

Question:

I am trying to gain mass. If I like doing post-workout protein shakes, what is an effective way to get carbs into the shake? Also, what is a good ratio of carbs to protein?

– Joe O.

Answer:

If your protein shake choice doesn’t include carbohydrates, you have a few options. Sugar is easy to dissolve and table sugar is cheap. Agave nectar or honey won’t be gritty. Non-fat milk powder or fruit juice both provide naturally occurring sugars. If using a blender, a banana or ground oats will work fine.

Trying to avoid sugar and go for a more complex carbohydrate may result in a pasty, bland shake if using household ingredients like a couple tablespoons of fine sifted flour or boiled mashed potato. If not using a blender, you’d best find a supplement carbohydrate that mixes in well. I’d suggest a simple maltodextrin that costs less than $5 per pound.

Of course, if you want to skip the hassle, just switch to a recovery shake with carbohydrates included. Ideally in the ratio of 2-3 grams carbohydrate for each gram of protein for strength training and mass gain. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends a general 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is supported by endurance exercise. Of course, as caloric nutrients, the absolute amount of carbohydrate and protein should be bodyweight dependent.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Recommended Reading - Q+A

The Top 5 Nutrition Myths – Podcast Ep. 1

The Top 5 Nutrition Myths – Podcast Ep. 1


Welcome to the first episode of the Living Healthy podcast, presented by LA Fitness!

On this episode of Living Healthy, we talk with registered dietitian Debbie James and discuss the TOP 5 Myths of Nutrition that you may be surprised to learn about.

Timecard Markers

  • Skip Intro:
    • Podcast Begins at 1:05
  • Our nutrition expert Debbie James, RDN, joins the show.
    • Starts at 1:55
  • Myth #1: Sugar causes type 2 diabetes.
    • Starts at 2:57
  • Myth #2: You have to eat every 3-4 hours to lose weight.
    • Starts at 5:23
  • Myth #3: It takes a lot of protein to build muscle.
    • Starts at 8:49
  • Myth #4: Stimulant drinks give you energy.
    • Starts at 12:05
  • Myth #5: Fat is bad for you.
    • Starts at 15:20
  • Product Password
    • Begins at 18:18

Let us know what you think of the show in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


Recommended Reading

AAT: Ep. 21 – What Are the Best Machines for Chest, Arms, and Abs?

AAT: Ep. 21 – What Are the Best Machines for Chest, Arms, and Abs?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Stone T., gives his expert advice on which machines best help train and target the chest, arms, and abs. Get ready to get swoll.


Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

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**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


Recommended 'Ask A Trainer' Videos

Is Distilled Water Healthy for You?

Is Distilled Water Healthy for You?

Question:

Is drinking distilled water bad for you? What type of water should I drink?

– Danisha O.

Answer:

Distilled water is one form of purified water and it is safe to drink, but not exclusively. The thing with removing impurities is that the natural minerals like calcium and magnesium are also removed. This is desirable for household appliances like hot irons, but your blood has sodium and other solutes in it. In summary, distilled water may not be as beneficial for your body as other forms of water.

The water used for intravenous injection is sterile but still contains solutes to match blood concentration and pH. Tap water impurities and micronutrients vary based on the local source, as do those for spring waters and bottled waters. Filtered water removes contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides but some can also lower the mineral content. Carbon block filters allow the mineral salts to remain. Specialty waters that are ionized, reverse-osmosis or alkaline are promoted for various reasons but overall for proper hydration, an adequate volume of fluids is key. Having affordable, good-tasting water means you’ll drink more of it. In the end, there is not an absolute consensus on the type of water you should drink.

A special note: for exercise, sports drinks are actually ideal as they have the proper concentration of glucose and electrolytes to enhance absorption and promote fluid balance.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Recommended Reading - Q+A

A Taste of Tryst in DC

A Taste of Tryst in DC

A Hello From Tryst DC! 

Tryst is turning 20 this year! We’ve been bringing people together over great food and drink in the nation’s capital for two decades.

Tryst stands in the center of the nation’s capital, in stark contrast to the suburban culture and coffee chains that proliferate the country. No, our silverware doesn’t always match and we don’t have 75 different kinds of pre-made caramel-nilla-frapp-a-ccino-supremas or 64 flavored vodka martinis. What we do have is outstanding, specialty coffee, craft cocktails, and a commitment to being the city’s ‘third place’. The Greeks have tavernas; the French have cafes. DC has Tryst – a place that helps define ourselves and the community.

Q: Fast-casual dining is often thought to be less healthy than home-cooking, but I’d disagree. What are some of the healthier options Tryst DC offers that diners can enjoy guilt-free?

Executive Chef Kevin Eckert: The thing that separates Tryst from other fast-casual restaurants is that we use small batch recipes and that nearly everything on the menu is cooked from scratch.  Every day we are making soups, pesto, granola, and frying our own chips not to mention the daily selection of fresh baked goods.  I believe that this makes a big difference in the result of the quality of the end product and allows our customers to eat guilt-free.

Q: I assume that with an eclectic menu, the drinks offered at Tryst DC are just as artfully crafted. Do you have a favorite drink you feel pairs well with the featured dish provided?

KE: We take our bartending and barista crafts very seriously. I like to eat the Chia Seed Pudding with a masala chai latte.  Cinnamon and cardamom are naturally sweet flavors that taste amazing without the addition of a ton of sugar and I find that refreshing.

Q: What would you like our readers to know about food and nutrition?

KE: Balance is key. Diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. It should be easy to eat well every day but we shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying things occasionally in moderation either.

Q: If you had to include one constant ingredient to every dish you created from here on forward, what would it be? Why that ingredient?

KE: Mung beans. I can’t get enough of them lately. They are packed in nutrition and versatile. They can be sprouted and eaten raw or sautéed, work great in stews especially with curry, and can be soaked and pureed and made into a dosa. Hard to go wrong.

Q: Coffee or tea?

KE: Both!  It depends on the time of day. I will always start my day with a cup of hot coffee but as the day goes on I like to switch to tea, especially an iced green tea when I need an afternoon pick-me-up.

Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 


Tryst DC is located at the following location:

Tryst

LA Fitness North Bergen

Distance to closest LA Fitness: 1.8 miles to Washington DC – Connecticut Ave. LA Fitness


Tryst Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chia Seeds
  • 4 cups Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon, ground

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps.
  3. Portion into bowls and top with fresh berries, granola, banana and coconut flakes.

Featured Recipes

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