Protein is typically the first thing swimmers look to supplement to aid their recovery and help build and maintain lean muscle. While protein is critical to recovery it’s not the only thing your body needs to recuperate after training, whether you’re lucky enough to be back in the water or you’re confined to dryland workouts. If you’re still looking into protein shakes you might want to consider getting more bang for your buck by opting for a nutritional shake rather than a protein shake. You’re losing minerals in your sweat (even in the pool), and a nutritional shake that contains the right mix of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes is going to contribute far more to your recovery and replenishing lost nutrients than straight-up whey.
If you’ve got your nutritional shake lined up, but you’re not sure how to mix it, this is for you. If you’re looking for a nutritional shake that checks all the boxes above, the NutriBoost shake should be on your list for consideration. What’s the best way to mix a shake, what should you use as the base? Should you go H2O, or do you need to go get some milk?
The first question to ask is, what are your goals? Do you want additional nutrients, or do you need more hydration? Are you the kind of swimmer who holds their nose to chug back a shake (get the right one and you won’t have to), or would you consider yourself a shake connoisseur and only ever a snap away from posting your smoothies on Instagram? Nutrients, hydration, and taste preferences are all considerations.
- More nutrients:
Adding milk as the base to your nutritional shake is going to provide you with more nutrients than plain water. Milk provides protein, vitamins, and fats. If you go the diary route you’ll be getting three out of the four nutrients the USDA deems “under-consumed by most Americans”, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. In addition, milk provides bone-building nutrients, specifically protein, vitamin B12, Zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. It’s one of the most nutritionally-dense foods and one of the best you can put on your post-training meal plan.
- Great post-workout option:
The sugar and protein in the milk make it a great post-training drink, especially for swimmers. The Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism published a study finding participants who drank milk after their training session were able to train for longer than those who had sports drinks or water. Drinks, containing carbohydrates, proteins, and electrolytes, such as milk, are particularly helpful for athletes training for 45 minutes or longer.
If your tastes dictate that you crave a creamier shake you’re likely going to want to look at whole milk for that full finish, it’s also a good choice for athletes looking to build muscle. For the athletes looking to shed a few pounds before a race, or time trials, but still wanting a creamy shake, skip the whole milk and go for skim milk, low-fat milk, or 2% as the base for your nutritional shake. It’s an easy way to save calories. Soy and nut-based milk are also available to lactose-intolerant and vegan athletes, although typically calcium from soy milk is “absorbed at only 75% the efficiency of calcium from cow milk,” according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- H2O is lower in calories
Water may sound boring, especially for those who have grown accustomed to sipping on it all day but don’t be too quick to dismiss it or its nutritional benefits as the base for your shake. Water is lower in calories than milk and is a better option for when you’re training for shorter periods.
- Stay hydrated
Swimmers tend to under-estimate how much they sweat in water, and how key hydration is for performance. A dehydrated body cannot transport energy as efficiently, which makes it almost virtually impossible to perform at an optimal level. According to a study published in Human Kinetics, dehydration can reduce the body’s ability to do work by about 30%. This effect is further exacerbated in aerobic athletes when as little as 2.5% body weight loss due to dehydration turns into a 45% decrease in exercise performance.
- Convenient and easy to transport
Water is a much better option to carry in your training bag, making it a better on-the-go option. If you carry around your protein powder and water bottle, you can refuel whenever you’re ready. Opting for water also means there’s no need to cry over spilled milk, which is a smell that takes forever to get rid of.
- A word on taste
If you’re only considering milk because of the taste you may be surprised to know it may matter less than you think. Investing in a quality nutritional shake, where the company cares about how their products taste will likely mean you won’t have to dress it up to hide the taste, you may find it just as enjoyable with ice water as you would with milk. P2Life’s NutriBoost Shake is one of the few that mix smoothly and tastes just like a milkshake without you needing to add milk as a base (we’ve added the milk in for you already). We pride ourselves on taste and while we know there are hardcore swimmers out there who are willing to chug chalky goo if it helps them drop split seconds off their times, no-one should have to do that. So as swimmers, we made a nutritional shake that we enjoy drinking, and we’re not alone. The NutriBoost has received the stamp of approval in +1,600 reviews for taste and results and is the nutritional drink for choice for Masters World Record Holders, Olympic swimmers, and National Age Group Record Holders.
P2Life’s NutriBoost is a nutritionally dense shake that plays just as well with both milk and water. Two scoops of the NutriBoost provide roughly 70% of the vitamins and minerals the body needs daily, as well as a mix of the right protein (casein and whey), carbohydrates, and fats. It’s specifically designed to promote recovery, and build and repair lean muscle and was made by swimmers for swimmers. Each and every P2Life product is independently batch-tested to be certified free of banned and illegal substances. There are a plethora of recipes available for the adventurous, and those who are willing to take their shake game beyond a boring blender bottle. We’ve got peanut butter banana shakes, NutriBoost fudge popsicles and tropical smoothie pops available for starters and just deserts for culinary curators and social smoothie SwimSwam sharers.
P2Life is a family-owned, performance-based, nutritional supplement company that was designed for swimmers, by swimmers, to protect health and promote performance. Within one year of launching, P2Life was the preferred choice for 40% of the USA Men’s National Swim at the London Olympics. Today P2Life is the dominant force in nutrition and is tried, tested, and loved by elite and aspiring athletes across all levels; high school, collegiate and masters swimmers around the globe. Every P2Life product is independently batch tested to be certified free of banned and illegal substances. P2life products have undergone +35 years of rigorous research and development, and the difference they make is evident in the numbers. With 18 Olympic medals, +800 World Records, and +100 National Age Group Records and counting, it’s clear that P2Life athletes feel the difference.
P2Life was founded by Tim Shead, a Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee and +45x World Record Holder, and co-founded by Michael Shead, a former national water polo player. Tim’s expertise in swimming and years of experience and knowledge working with nutritional products, combined with Michael’s love of innovation and technical background, has enabled the P2Life team to create a technologically savvy company that is dedicated to furthering athletic potential. P2Life strives to empower athletes with the highest-quality nutritional supplements, backed by peer-reviewed scientific research, and to arm athletes and their loved ones with accurate and reliable information to make informed decisions. The whole P2Life team is working to fuel the athletes of today and tomorrow for a bright future, in which dreams become achievable goals and sustainable realities.
P2Life is a SwimSwam partner.