Introducing my new Wild Cherry Shake for a truly wild and fruity smoothie experience, topped with a savory splash of cacao nibs. Sip it down for your morning nourishment or gulp it down after a hard, sweaty workout. The shake is stacked with frozen cherries, cacao powder and almond butter plus a cup of shredded cabbage to give you a break from your traditional spinach-filled drinks! Click below to find out why grass-fed whey protein powder is my preference for post-workout fuel. You will also find my favorite brand.
This wild cherry shake recipe contains 1 scoop of grass-fed whey protein powder for 23 grams of protein. Grass-fed whey happens to be my protein powder of choice after a hard workout. This may come as a surprise to some since all of my recipes are both gluten-free and dairy-free. I bend a little on the dairy-free when using grass-fed whey protein since whey is technically a dairy protein. I would recommend adding it to your post-workout shakes if you don’t have an allergy or sensitivity to whey. Dairy contains two types of proteins—casein (80% of protein content) and whey (20% of protein content)—which are the curd and liquid parts, respectively. Of the two proteins, whey is typically easier to tolerated than casein.
There are three things that determine the effectiveness of protein powder: the amino acid content, digestibility and bioavailability. Whey is a preferred source of protein because research has shown it is a complete source of protein and it has an exceptionally high amino acid content (specifically the branch chain amino acids isoleucine, leucine and valine), a rapid digestibility and high bioavailability. The leucine in whey is associated with improved muscle protein synthesis which is essential for building muscle. The body should achieve more muscle protein synthesis than muscle protein breakdown in order to gain muscle after a workout. Whey protein is better able to stimulate muscle protein synthesis at rest and after resistance exercise compared to other types of protein such as soy and casein.
A High Quality Brand
When purchasing whey protein powder avoid generic brands from GNC and other supplement stores. It’s worth the extra money to buy a grass-fed whey powder from a trusted brand. Designs for Health is a medical grade supplement company that has very high quality products (you can create an account to order using the practitioner code: BeingBrigid). My preference is Designs for Health Whey Cool because the cows are raised on pastures that are free of pesticides and chemicals, where they are meant to live! This makes the whey less inflammatory because the milk from the cows has a better balance of essential fatty acids—very important!
If you have a severe dairy allergy or sensitivity or avoid animal products, plant-based protein powders are great options. My favorite plant-based protein powder is Organic PurePea protein powder by Designs for Health which also comes in vanilla or chocolate flavors. Again the reason that I like Designs for Health is because they use very high quality, medical grade ingredients. Since they are a medical grade company, you need a practitioner code to setup an account (code: BeingBrigid).
Cheers to a wild cherry shake and muscle growth!
Wild Cherry Shake
By Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, LD
- 1 cup nut milk, unsweetened
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp almond butter, unsweetened
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage
- 1 scoop grass-fed whey protein powder
- Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender.
- Blend ingredients for about 45 seconds or until smooth.
- Optional: top with cacao nibs