Super Shakes - ELMM 4

Over the years I’ve worked with a wide variety of individuals, powerlifters, fire fighters, crossfitters, hockey athletes, ultimate frisbee athletes, etc. While these individuals have very different training and nutritional demands, there are key components for each. For training for their sports they all need to be stronger, faster, etc. As well for nutrition they all need to get in enough protein to recover, a good amount of carbs to support training, enough fats to support endocrine function & reduce inflammation, plus get in a wide range of micronutrients.

Though these athletes differed in quantities needed in most of these things, one thing we have seen fairly consistently with them is the struggle to get in enough protein, fruits & vegetables, and micronutrients (mostly due to lack of fruits & vegetables).

To correct this problem we explored different options. Initially we talked to clients about the importance of enough protein, fruits, and vegetables, but saw minimal improvement usually, particularly in people who were not competitive athletes. After that didn’t work we tried to think about what was stopping people. In generally people were not getting in enough vegetables due to their taste and protein due to having to sit down and eat it or taste.

We wanted to find a good solution to this, which is where smoothies came in. By blending up fruit, adding in protein, and some additional vegetables, we were able to convince clients to get more of these components into their diet.

Over the course of working with clients we were also able to start imploring the use of these shakes as helping to build certain habits. From the book Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg we realized most people were not fulfilling their habit loops to make the strong connection to the gym. Having clients reward themselves with a shake was an easy way to correct that problem and helped many clients.

Alright, so what is a super shake?

Essentially it takes your normal smoothie and adds a few components to it to make it even more beneficial for people’s success. The term comes from Precision Nutrition who to my understanding helped coin the term, so we've got to give them credit.

It has a few components:

A Liquid, a Fruit, a Vegetable, a Protein, a Fat, and Optional toppers

To use the table above, pick one from each category and add to your blender, playing with the amounts depending upon the thickness you like.

A few starter options:

PB&J Smoothie

6 oz. skim milk, 2 handfuls mixed berries, ½ handful frozen spinach, 1 scoop vanilla/chocolate whey protein powder, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 3 ice cubes.

Pumpkin spice latte smoothie

6 oz. almond milk, 3 heaping spoonfuls of mashed sweet potato, ½ handful frozen kale, 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, a few shakes of cinnamon to taste - this makes an shake that resembles a pumpkin spice latte, but with far better macronutrient content.

Make sure to get a good blender for these, an easy option is the magic bullet/nutri bullet, or you can make a larger purchase for a Vitamix or Ninja blender.

Thanks to Precision Nutrition for the idea.

Move well, lift heavy, stay healthy,

The Strength Therapist

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