How Long Are Protein Shakes Drinkable After Mixing?
Anyone who drinks protein shakes will know; leave your shake in a shaker too long and it can start to smell pretty bad. So, the all important question – how long are protein shakes drinkable for after shaking?
SHAKE AND DRINK – HOW QUICKLY?
Protein shakes are designed to be mixed-up and consumed fairly quickly. Typically you want to shake and drink it within a few minutes – after all, even if you have used one of our great shakers... you really need to seek help if you want to preserve your work of art for any length of time! While the fridge can save a shake for a few hours, after that it's likely to lose its freshness pretty quickly. Will it still be OK if left for 24-hours? Probably, but it's not advisable. In terms of preserving the quality of the protein and nutrients in your shakes, there's no real evidence about the impact of leaving a shake for a time before downing it. However, like any fresh food, it will start breaking down if left for long enough; get it inside you and let it do its stuff!
SHAKING FOR CONVENIENCE
When at home or the gym – it's easy to mix a shake, so there's no need to leave one standing there for longer than a few minutes. If you're on the go, it's obviously not so easy. There are three easy escapes from pre-mixing your shakes; protein bars, ready to drink shakes or powders in a dry shaker plus a bottle of mineral water.
Take home message – mix, shake, drink!
Want more? Got time? Scroll down to read more...
Okay so dodgy smelling shakers and taste aside, there’s got to be a reason why we’re seeing people down their shake the moment the barbell hits the floor right?
This is down to a theory known as the ‘anabolic window’
Whilst a lot of this has come from ‘bro science’ there are in fact multiple benefits and truth to consuming a protein shake upon finishing a workout.
One of the primary reasons there are recommendations for post workout nutrient timing is for glycogen store replenishment. Glycogen is known to be essential to optimal resistance training performance, so it makes sense to keep an eye on it.
Glycolysis is the metabolic pathway that converts glucose C₆H₁₂O₆, into pyruvate, CH₃COCOO⁻, and a hydrogen ion, H⁺. The free energy released in this process is used to form the high-energy molecules ATP and NADH.
As much as 80% of ATP production during resistance training is derived from glycolysis. MacDougall et al found that just a single set of bicep curls at 80% of someone’s 1RM caused a 12% reduction in muscle glycogen.
So, imagine your entire workout involving multiple sets and reps, this is going to deplete the majority of local glycogen stores.
This is where our shakes become the heroes!!
Evidence has shown that consuming protein and carbohydrates post workout can lead to supercompensation of glycogen stores and enhance glycogen re-synthesis.
Protein synthesis is also at its highest post-workout, so the smartest option is to utilise this and always keep a shake or bar handy in your gym bag.
But what about that window? Well, it’s a slightly bigger window than you’ve been led to believe from the mad shakers in the changing rooms busting a nut to get their scoops out.
Glycogen-synthesis was only reduced if the consumption was delayed by two hours or more.
So slow down, put your weights away properly and know that as long as you get in a good source of protein and carbohydrates within two hours (you can read our Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs blog here), you should be fine!
We’re yet to visit a gym that requires a two-hour commute to the changing rooms.
So as for how long the shake will last, as we previously mentioned, the fresher the better!
Now we fully understand that not everyone who uses our products is using them as a post workout recovery tool.
Protein powder is incredibly versatile and is just a convenient way of increasing our intake of protein throughout the day.
Plant based protein powders that don’t contain soy have a much slower rate of deterioration in comparison to a dairy based powder.
It just so happens that our ULTRA PLANT is soy free. What are the chances?
We still wouldn’t recommend leaving it for hours though. Even more so if you plan on making a shake with added ingredients.
Whilst they taste fantastic with fruit added in, often the acidity levels of certain food can speed up the breakdown and start to make things a little bit funky. Not in a good, Bruno Mars type way either.
A common misconception of protein powders is that they aren’t ‘real food’ but considering that they are the by-products of other foods e.g. whey being a by-product of cheese, that’s like saying eggs aren’t real because they’re a by-product of a chicken?
So just like real foods, they of course will deteriorate if not handled correctly.
Blend it, bake with it, make ice cream with it. Just don’t leave it in your bag for a day.
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