What Your Trainer Orders at the Fuel Bar
(Above: Trainer Matt Nolan and NYC Area Fuel Bar Manager Sean McCall)
You’ve heard it a million times before (and here comes number one million and one): after a workout, you need protein. Your muscles are made of protein, and a vigorous workout tears the muscle fibers. Protein provides the amino acids necessary to repair your muscles (and to help them grow), as well as blocking cortisol, a hormone responsible for breaking down muscle further. You also need carbohydrates after your workout, to replenish your body’s energy stores. Lucky for you, a protein shake from the Fuel Bar just happens to be full of protein and healthy carbohydrates! But which to order – the options are mind-boggling. So to help with that conundrum, we asked five of our trainers (including Barry) which shakes are their favorite, and how they modify those shakes for their own personal goals.
My favorite shake at the Fuel Bar is the Simply PB with Vega protein powder so it’s a VEGAN shake. I sometimes request almond butter over peanut butter. But I do love me some peanut butter so that’s only for taste variety.
Runners’ needs post-workout are always a little bit different than those who are looking to add size or just lose weight. For me, it’s all about recovery post-workout, in the timing and ingredients. It’s proven that if you consume carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes after running, your body will store up to three times more glycogen than if you wait longer to eat. Science has also taught us that when you have a little protein with a little bit more carbohydrate (1:3 or 1:4 ratio), more glycogen is stored (versus just carbohydrates alone). Which is all crucial for not only healthy eating, but preparing and refueling yourself, so you are ready physically for your next workout or training session.
Which is why for me, shakes like the Big Banana (28g Carbs, 27g Protein), the Acai Berry (30g Carbs, 27g Protein), the Blueberry Cobbler (42g Carbs, 31g Protein) and the Miami Mango Madness (46g Carbs, 30g Protein), are just some of my favorites that fit the ratio that runners, like myself, are looking for after class.
You’ve just finished an hour of sprinting, planking, curling, rowing and dynamic-moding (gag). After a serious sweat session at Barry’s, we’re all thinking one thing: GET ME TO THE FUEL BAR!!! It’s no secret that Barry’s is home to some of the most delicious, unique and healthy pre/post workout concoctions in the city. The fuel bar staff has spent a lot of hours perfecting each shake specific to what your bod needs and we want to make sure you reap the benefits of the right shake. That’s why I’m here to give you the rundown on why you need to head straight to the fuel bar upon exiting your workout du jour (better yet, pre-order your shake so you don’t have to wait!)
First things first: Take advantage of the magical 30-minute-post-workout-fuel-up-window (say that 3 times fast!). The protein shakes we’ve created at Barry’s play a crucial role in your body’s ability to optimize and replenish its energy stores. Properly fueling yourself post-workout can help your body recover faster from the stress and muscle breakdown that occurred during your workout (Hell Week/Academy babes… I’m especially talking to you!)
To help your body replenish and recover, you need a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Too much protein will inhibit your body’s absorption of the carbs, while just the right amount will help produce muscle-building amino acids and hormones (yay!)
If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious pick that won’t send you into a calorie-overload frenzy, choose my fave: The Simply PB. The Simply PB is made with almond milk, banana, Better ’n’ Peanut Butter, and Vanilla Whey Protein. This little baby will run you around 294 calories, 31g of carbs and 31g of protein. Too much for you? Don’t worry. Coming in second place, my pick is The Skinny PB. The Skinny PB cuts out the banana, taking your nutrient info down to about 180 calories, 7g of carbs and 27.8g of protein.
Personally, I like to meet right in the middle, so I ask the Fuel Bar staff to create what I have dubbed “The Semi-Skinny PB.” I ask for 1/2 the serving of banana, 1/2 the serving of Better ’N’ Peanut Butter and I add Glutamine to help aid in muscle recovery.
Bottom line: The Fuel Bar is prepped and ready to serve whatever you need to match with your health and fitness goals. Happy sipping friends!
For my client Gabriella, I always have her get the Skinny PB after a Barry’s workout three times a week, as well as after her own training two times a week. For her, we add extra Glutamine for her muscles to repair a little bit quicker after the intensity of Barry’s. The SKINNY option is great because you still get a little bit of carbs after the workout, which you ALWAYS NEED, and the banana that’s mixed in the shake, is great to raise your glucose levels back up to normal after the depletion. The key is to make sure the shake is consumed no later than fifteen minutes after class or training. You have a fifteen minute anabolic window and you must get your protein in within that time frame in order to maximize repairing the muscles!
My favorite shake from the Fuel Bar is the Blueberry Cobbler. First off, it’s incredibly delicious and since I’m trying to maintain a clean diet all year long (minus the dirty bulk I just finished), I don’t eat the real thing very often, if ever. This shake helps satisfy a bit of the sweet tooth craving I get. More importantly though, it’s a very well balanced shake, and following any workout, replenishment of the body for muscle development is important. It has the necessary amount of protein, carbohydrates and a good amount of healthy fats to allow the body to remain in an anabolic state for an extended period of time.