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Are you prioritizing recovery? Odds are probably not, at least not to the degree to which we should be. First things first, what you take in, is what you put out. So, I’m going to share a few of my favorite post-workout recovery shakes, that help replenish energy stores, reduce inflammation, and contribute to proper recovery.

In addition to nutrition, the small practices of a warm-up and cool down before and after your workout make A BIG difference. Allow me to provide a bit of an out of the box metaphor here, when preparing to train, treat your body like an iron. First and foremost, make sure it has water. Second, allow ample time for a warm-up, so it can perform as intended, and last but not least, allow enough time for it to cool down before stuffing it back in the closet, or hopping in the car and carrying on with your day, or you will get burned (figuratively speaking).


Hydration is Key!

This one is pretty straightforward. Being that our bodies are primarily made up of water, I absolutely make a conscious effort to consume at least half of my body weight in ounces per day. For example, at 230 lbs, I aim to consume 115 ounces or nearly one gallon of water.

Go-to Post-Workout Recovery Shakes

This is a topic that will vary for all of us based on dietary and/or medical restrictions. But as I provide a glance into my post-workout pantry, the following foods are staples for me. I typically choose foods high in protein and antioxidants for my shakes (things like dark berries, cherries, cocoa nibs, etc.).

These “meal-replacement” shakes are a quick and efficient way to be sure I’m consuming essential nutrients and protein post-workout in the event my schedule doesn’t allow time to make a proper meal. Ingredients vary depending on what I have a taste for, but the following options are my “Go-to’s."

*Adjust serving sizes to what works for you

Chocolate PB&J

  • 8oz Silk Chocolate Almond Milk

  • 2 scoops Chocolate Orgain Plant Based Protein

  • 1-2 tablespoons of organic almond butter

  • ½ cup steel-cut oats

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 1 cup of frozen pitted dark cherries

  • 1 teaspoon Raw wildflower honey

  • 10g Neo-Cell collagen peptides

  • 1-2 tablespoons of organic cocoa nibs


  • 8oz Unsweetened Almond Milk

  • 2 scoops Vanilla Orgain Plant Based Protein

  • 1 scoop Orgain Organic Greens Superfoods powder

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

  • ½ cup raspberries

  • 10g Neo-Cell collagen peptides


Recovery starts with your cool down. Many of us are guilty whether we know better or not. We’ve completed a great lift, run, or bootcamp, and then dash to off to shower, grab a quick meal or get started with our time-constrained days. Failing to take the time for a proper cool down and stretch is a criminal offense against our body’s.

During intense training sessions, our body’s deplete energy stores and breakdown chemicals that contribute to fatigue and soreness (i.e. lactic acid). One critical practice to allow the body to return to its natural state, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, is a dynamic cool down. This can be attained through active stretching, walking, or a short ride on a stationary bike for 5-10 minutes post-workout. This moderate movement allows the blood and chemical build-up in the trained muscle groups to circulate and avoid blood pooling that contributes to tightness and soreness. YES! Taking time for a cool down reduces muscles soreness! It does not add to it. 

Taking a few extra minutes to incorporate this practice, is the first major step toward your next workout session. More importantly, as a by-product this also invites the circulation of what I like to call “good drugs," like endorphins and serotonin, that allow us to experience the sense of well-being, happiness, accomplishment, and feeling re-energized despite the grueling workout you just endured. So do your body a favor after your next training session by slowing down and cooling down. 


Mobility, mobility, mobility! These next two practices are key to our daily routines and maintaining the ability to move. After all, a body in motion, stays in motion. While strength training and cardio work are important, none of it is possible without flexibility and pliability. For those not familiar with foam rolling, (bear with me as I geek out and throw a few physiological terms at you) it’s a practice utilized to de-densify our muscles and assist with myofascial release. “Myo” meaning muscle and “fascia” meaning covering or connective tissue. Think of fasica as saran wrap that covers our body’s muscle tissue. When it becomes stiff and/or restricted, it can lead to tightness, pain, and increase the probability of injury. Foam rolling and stretching allow us to minimize this tightness keeping the muscle tissue mobile. Depending on your preference, there are a variety of foam rollers on the market from hard to soft, notched, trigger point, etc. Use what works for you! While foam rolling is not the most enjoyable practice and you will likely experience some discomfort while implementing this into your routine, the key is to keep it manageable. Try not to sit or roll one spot for too long as you can cause additional trauma to an already tight or inflamed area. Continuous, controlled movement is recommended. Allow 30-60 seconds give or take of foam rolling over the desired muscle group and this will assist the release of that muscle fascia allowing for a better stretch. 

Stretching, much like foam rolling, is also not the most enjoyable part of a workout (which is why many of us tend avoid it), but it is just as, if not more important, than any component of the cool down. Not only is stretching key to mobility and increased circulation post-workout, I find that it possess a mental component, allowing us to practice discipline and mindfulness. Your post-workout stretch should not be a ballistic practice, but a series of controlled movements, 30-60 second holds. Allow your mind and body to relax and breath into the stretch. Listen to your body during this time, as it will tell you exactly where it’s at, and what it needs.

Good luck and keep moving. Forever forward!


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