THE SURF SHAKE – GUIDE TO HEALTHY PROTEIN SHAKES
If you’re a surfer who understands that you can help your performance by ingesting better quality foods, and really want to make an impact on your health and energy in the water, then keep reading and see how you can easily make your own healthy protein shakes.
Before your surf, it’ll give you the nutrients necessary for energy. After your 3 hour surf session, it will give you the nutrients to repair muscle tissue, and replenish your energy stores. Nutrition in a glass, and it’s damn good…..the surf shake. *note, it can be good, depending what you’re putting in there, so read on.
PROBLEMS WITH TYPICAL MEATHEAD PROTEIN SHAKES
I’ve discussed in a recent post the typical meathead protein shake (read it, you’ll get insight as to why I don’t like them) , what typically occurs is somebody is throwing a bunch of pro-inflammatory, artificially flavored, low quality whey protein into their body.
That’s far from an ideal scenario when hoping to repair, replenish, and fuel the body. While their intentions are good, they’ve been swayed by a bunch of marketing hype, and in reality aren’t doing much good for themselves.
THE SURF SHAKE – YOUR HEALTHY SHAKE OPTION
High quality protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and some whole-food carbs…….. Follow the steps, and whip up a damn good protein shake. Pimp your blender.
This is a simple 8 step process.
Really only 4, but the extras just throw some flare onto it. No matter if you’re a kitchen idiot you can’t mess this up, I have faith in you.
Water, RAW milk, organic Whole milk, almond/coconut milk, green tea. Just use your choice of liquid. I wouldn’t advise soy milk however. That can be a deep post by itself, but I absolutely do not see soy as a health food.
It’s clever marketing for a surplus crop in my opinion with hugely inflated health. Commercial milk is something I personally stay away from, and believe you probably ought to as well.
1-5 cubes for a cold shake, 6-10 for a thick shake. Frozen bananas or berries are a good option too. And papaya, or pineapple, or watermelon…. get it? Frozen fruit can be a good idea.
Apple, orange, banana, blueberries, strawberries, melon, mango……. whatever! Don’t be fructose-phobic, unless you have fructose malabsorption issues. Fruit is packed with vitamins and nutrients, so don’t fret over the sugar.
Don’t be a sugar fear monger either, it’s annoying, and those that do monger generally don’t have an understanding of physiology. Sugar-phobia doesn’t need to apply to fruit, unless you’ve got some prior health issues.
If you’re active, don’t have diabetes, and have a healthy level of body fat, eat some fruit. Throw 1-3 servings of fruit depending on your output, health, and aesthetic goals. A serve is about 1 piece, for berries it’d be about .5-1cup.
Fruit, which is a carbohydrate, is where we get into macronutrient modulation, which you can read about below. Don’t overdo it on the fruit, which is dependent on those previously mentioned variables, but don’t be scared of it either.
4. Vegetables.. Yep
Yes a veggie in your shake. Fiber and antioxidants, and some extra vitamins. This won’t screw up the taste. Carrot, kale, spinach, beets, cooked pumpkin, celery… your options run the span of the rainbow. Get it?… the colors… rainbow…color spectrum.. never mind.
Spinach always works and it’s largely tasteless, frozen or raw works. Roasted pumpkin is legit and tastes great with vanilla and cinnamon. I hear beet root (cooked) goes well with chocolate. Another option are the Greens Powders. Here’s a few I dig, and have personally used.
Your body requires amino acids. They’re the building blocks of the body, and you get them from protein. Generally those that are eating “clean”, for those that want to optimize lean body mass, or want to support high output lifestyles, you need to get adequate protein intake.
An easy way to ensure this is with a healthy protein shake. Here’s my recommendations for protein.
Raw Eggs (high quality free-range eggs, find a farmers market, or get your ass some chickens). Yes there can be complications with raw eggs, that is why you must source the highest quality possible. Is there a chance for some nasty gut stuff… yep, but it’s minimal.
People have been poisoned by spinach and cantaloupe in the states! I’ve personally never gotten sick from raw eggs, but this one is up to you.
Those are some protein options, and some good quality ones. If you’ve got your own protein, use it, but read the label, and compare it with these. Remember, protein full of artificial flavors and ingredients isn’t that great for you, and probably is just stressing out your liver…. no bueno.
If your body, gut, and colon is A-ok with whey, then use it. I like to have people cycle between whey and vegetarian blend options, and nearly always throw in a bit of Gelatin. About a tablespoon will do.
The amino acid profile of gelatin is high in certain amino acids that are commonly deficient in the modern diet, but very beneficial to physiology (glycine and proline).
A few nuts, a tablespoon of nut butter (cashew, almond, peanut), coconut cream, coconut oil, plain yogurt, or perhaps half an avocado. Fat is not the sole detriment of health. If you prescribe to that line of thinking, you need to dive into some modern nutrition self-education.
With the understanding that fat is very beneficial to human physiology, it also needs to be understood that it is calorically dense.
The amount of fat used needs to coincide with your health, weight goals, and activity levels, just as carbs do. Just about everyone reading this can put a tablespoon of some fat source into your shake. For others you may actually need more. This is where fine-tuning of nutrition comes into play.
If you’re throwing nuts in there, go with raw rather than roasted. This has to do with the unsaturated fats within the nuts, and roasting of them tends to create free radicals from the heat-unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Pumpkin seeds, macadamia, brazil or cashews, those are my go-tos. I personally tend to use coconut cream or coconut oil as my fat sources.
Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk (canned), molasses, cinnamon, yogurt (non-flavored), vanilla extract, cacao powder, RAW honey… your call, be creative.
8. Supplements or Other Goodness
BCAA’s, glutamine, creatine, turmeric, maca, chia, coffee…. your call on these, but they can definitely be beneficial for recovery and optimal performance depending on what you’re doing with your body.
Mix up your batch of goodness and fuel your body. That’s a Surf Shake that’ll do a body good, rather than some low quality skim milk, strawberry flavored protein shake that simply pisses of your gut and drives up systemic inflammation.
In the Surf Shake, you’ve got some good carbs from the fruit/veggies, tons of antioxidants and vitamins from the fruit/veggies and nuts, good quality amino acids, and hormone supportive fats.
This all equals sustained energy, proper recovery nutrition, and some damn tasty shakes. All in all it’s a life-win.
MACRONUTRIENTS – A Key to Healthy Shakes
Yep, a small amount of nutrition talk. It’s minimal, but you need to know this, because the tweaking of these “macros” is the key to sustained energy. The great thing about shakes is you can easily tweak the ratios of macronutrients (fat, carb, protein) depending upon your goals, your digestive health, and taste.
As I discuss in the Problem with Fruit Smoothies, is that often people just go carbohydrate dominant with their shakes. This is basically a sugar laden drink.
Where I pointed out earlier that people shouldn’t necessarily succumb to sugar-phobia (all of the diet & lifestyle must be taken into account), that rings true, but overloading the shake with primarily carbs does lead to ingesting a lot of sugars (fructose, sucrose, glucose) in a liquid form in a very quick period of time. This can play havoc with blood sugar regulation, which in turn influences hormones.
Riding that crazy train all day and slogging through blood sugar crashes. What you’re generally looking for is a more balanced ratios of these macronutrients, so making sure you’re getting adequate protein and a bit of fat in there. Scale the carb intake (fruit, pumpkin, honey, etc) based on your goals and activities.
I’ve got a lot of guys going protein and fat heavier in the morning with their shakes and feeling really good throughout the day.
This isn’t surprising at all. They’re still getting some fruit in there, but it’s not dominating the shake. To dive into some shallow depths of nutrition, I suggest you read this: Nutrition Basics for Surf Athletes
COUPLE OF HEALTHY SHAKE RECIPES
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder & some gelatin
- 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp. shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup liquid your choice
- 5 ice cubes
- **I’d throw in some greens or spinach
- 2 cups fresh chopped kale
- ¾ c. milk, coconut milk, or almond milk
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (gelatin optional)
- 1 spoonful peanut butter
- ½ banana
- 1 handful ice
- 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla) (add some gelatin if you’ve got it)
- 1 cup liquid of your choice
- 3 tbsp old-fashioned oats
- 2 small pitted dates or 2 tbsp raisins
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup of ice
- 1 cup liquid your choice
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon honey, or other sweetener (could throw in 1-2 dates)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or combo of nutmeg and cinnamon
- 1 medium banana
- 6 ice cubes
- ½ cup strawberries
- A cup sliced papaya
- 1 cup coconut kefir or yogurt (not required)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein
- ½ cup ice water
- **could throw in some greens as well
MY CURRENT FAVORITE – DARK CHOCOLATE & BANANA GREEN RADNESS
Frozen banana, papaya, spinach, spirulina, dark chocolate, coconut cream, gelatin powder (or your choice of protein powder….. make sure it’s a good one). Add some ice.
The Healthy Protein Shake … the Surf Shake.
Fuel your body and your life. Drink some nutrition. Drink healthy protein shakes.