Fitness Friday – Shakes and Training

Over the last few weeks, Habs strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard has presented you with a series of exercises and techniques to get you into better shape during the offseason. But, fitness and nutrition really do go hand in hand. With that in mind, in the sixth installment of the series, the man in charge of keeping Canadiens players in tip-top shape has asked team nutritionist Martin Frechette to explain the pros and cons of pre and post-workout shakes.

Smoothies or shakes (protein shakes) all have their respective advantages and disadvantages as well. One of the advantages is that they’re quick and efficient. You can use a variety of foods and ingredients. For people who have specific nutritional requirements and don’t have much time to prepare them, they’re very practical. Also, when we want to bring them with us and we don’t necessarily have time to digest them – before a workout, for example – they’re very practical, as well.

The disadvantage of shakes, since they’re liquid-based and quickly digested, is that they tend not to alleviate hunger for long. Even if they featured plenty of nutrients and were very filling, you’ll likely begin to feel hungry and want to eat again. If you’re a very active person and eat several times per day, it’s fine. But, if you’re someone less active or someone who is watching their weight, it can play tricks on you. Shakes are very popular, but that aspect cannot be ignored.

Before a workout, when it comes time to consume the shake, the most important thing is to take individual tolerance levels into consideration. You have to make sure that regardless of the ingredients you use, you tested and tolerated them properly and have no gastric reflux or similar ill effects.

The principal thing that a pre-workout shake has to feature is carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables and/or fruit juices are just a few examples. Then, you’re free to choose which ones you’d like to keep. Generally, you should consume a lot of liquid in order…

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