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Steve

Steve's Muscle Buildin' Big Ass Smoothie

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Hey guys!

So I know there's a small section of folks out there on the "bulk-up" train, so I wanted to share the smoothie I've been making the past two weeks to go along with my strength training. I'm on a 9-week bulk up plan, and hope to put on at least 12-18 pounds during this time. These are the amounts of food and macro's i'm averaging:

3500-4000 calories

180-220 g of protein

200 - 250 g of fat

300-350 g of carbohydrates.

I'm up 6 pounds in the first two weeks and on track to hit my target weight - I don't mind going over on my weight because I consumed slightly too many calories, as a few weeks of paleo after the bulk will get me where I want to be. I'm taking measurements and photos and will be adjusting as necessary to make sure it's not too much fat gain (though a bit doesn't bother me).

That's a boatload of food, so I get a good portion of my calories from one of my daily big smoothies after my workout: (Formally known as the "big ass shake" but people confused it with a dance move).

Obviously as a smoothie it requires a blender. Make sure it's a decent one, and be slow with your mixing...throwing it all into a blender and blasting it on high might burn out your motor...which i've certainly done a few times before.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 16 oz of whole milk
  • 1.5 scoops of whey protein (I use optimum nutrition, vanilla flavor)
  • 6 frozen organic strawberries (purchased from Trader Joe's)
  • A handful of frozen organic spinach (purchased at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup of Quaker Oats

Here are the stats:

  • 732 calories
  • 21 g of fat
  • 58 g of protein
  • 78 g of carbs

I like to get some more fat or calories in there sometimes, so I'll often take two shots of olive oil and chase it with the smoothie, or eat some walnuts while drinking the smoothie:

Olive oil shots (2 tbsp)

  • 240 calories
  • 24 g of fat

14 Walnut halves

  • 185 calories
  • 18 g of fat
  • 4g of carbs
  • 4 g of protein

If you're a particularly hard gainer and you need more calories or carbs, you can up the oat content from 1/2 cup to 1 cup. If the smoothie doesn't taste good to you (tastes great to me, personally), add in more fruit - frozen blueberries for example or a frozen banana!

This shake is generally consumed in the morning, within 15-20 minutes of the end of my workout.

During the rest of the day, i'm eating walnuts, doing 1/2 gallon of milk per day (which includes the 2 cups in the shake), an apple and two servings of almond butter, and then either a trip to whole foods for their hot lunch (chicken, lots of veggies, and some rice) or chipotle for one of their burrito bowls. Depends on the day, how many calories are needed, and how I'm feeling :)

If you're paleo, you can cut out the oats and switch them out for almond butter or walnut butter, add some honey for calories/carbs, and switch from whole milk to almond milk or coconut milk.

Just wanted to pass along what's been working for me - your results may vary! Track your stats, be meticulous with your notes and measurements and workouts, and make adjustments to fine-tune what works for you.

Cheers!

-Steve

Edited by Steve

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Holy Cow, a Steve post! That is one big ass smothie for sure. I haven't done one in a while myself, but I'm on the lean down train at the moment.

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Mine:

2 cup of Greek Yogurt (I try to find non-non-fat, but all I can find is non-fat)

1 cup of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries)

1 banana

1 kiwi

1 cup of whole milk

Stats:

711 Calories

9g of Fats (this is why I want non-fat yogurt)

104g of Carbohydrates

54g of protein

Tastes like bubble gum. Add OJ instead of milk for more flavor.

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Very close to a shake I use to make regularly, but without the frozen spinach (and I added in greek yogurt). Not trying to gain now, but may need to try adding the frozen spinach in some point down the road.

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Mine:

2 cup of Greek Yogurt (I try to find non-non-fat, but all I can find is non-fat)

1 cup of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries)

1 banana

1 kiwi

1 cup of whole milk

Stats:

711 Calories

9g of Fats (this is why I want non-fat yogurt)

104g of Carbohydrates

54g of protein

Tastes like bubble gum. Add OJ instead of milk for more flavor.

I like the idea of all of these. I really like the idea of greek yogurt. But I seem to be the only one in the world who doesn't like it/almost vomits from trying to eat it.

Edited by Josh_C
Realized I use HTML. Too much blogging

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I like the idea of all of these. I really like the idea of greek yogurt. But I seem to be the only one in the world who doesn't like it/almost vomits from trying to eat it.

You can do regular yogurt, but it has less protein and more sugar. You should try it, though, because you can't taste it with the fruit mixed in. Dannon's Oikos greek yogurt has more sugar in it and is a lot sweeter, so that might help you with greek yogurt in general.

BTW, my recipe makes 2-2.5 tall glasses. Make sure that you refrigerate it between glasses, otherwise it starts to get sour. It's still drinkable at that point, but less of a delight and more of something that you drink just to finish it.

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I like the idea of all of these. I really like the idea of greek yogurt. But I seem to be the only one in the world who doesn't like it/almost vomits from trying to eat it.

I felt the same way the first time I tried it about two years ago. I thought the one I had was past its expiration date or something!

I really like it now, though, after cutting a ton of sugar out of my diet, and eating the greek yogurt with honey for a while. Tastes adjusting to less sugar, I guess.

Definitely going to have to try putting greek yogurt in my shakes. Mmmmm.

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I used to make a smoothie from almond milk (5 oz), whey powder (1 Tbsp), and two frozen bananas. Haven't had one in over a year.

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I skip most of the ingredients and just do whole milk with chocolate milk powder (extra calories).

1 glass (pint) is:

400 calories

16 g fat

50 g carbs

16 g protein

I have a harder time meeting my calorie goals (4000-4400) than I do my protein goals (200g+), I try to pack in the calories as efficiently as possible.

....but I also partake frequently in the time honored traditional bulking food, PB&J, heavy on the PB:

505 calories

24 g fat

56 g carbs

17 g protein

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That reads like a Tasty Tasty shake. :)

Unfortunately, I don't want a fat Pat while i'm not training properly. So it'll have to wait. :(

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That reads like a Tasty Tasty shake. :)

Unfortunately, I don't want a fat Pat while i'm not training properly. So it'll have to wait. :(

I drink mine while trying to lose weight. It makes so much and it's so filling that I tend to take hours to finish it. It generally replaces breakfast and lunch for me, or dinner, which tends to be a very large meal.

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[*]1.5 scoops of whey protein (I use optimum nutrition, vanilla flavor)

What's your scoop size?

Edit: Never mind. Figured it out.

Edited by Hannibal

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I just made this smoothie this morning. Only minor change was I used 2 scoops instead of 1.5 (of a different brand), and mixed berries instead of strawberries. Mine came out to 888 calories! That's probably the most I've ever had for breakfast. It was tasty, though!

I am new to bulking, I'm shooting for 3,300 calories and I'm up to 1,820 so far today. This is not easy! I feel like a pig. But they are pretty "clean" calories. I'm hoping it will have the desired effect.

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Here is my post workout shake - totally awesome.

25g Whey - unflavoured

1 large Banana

2 squares 95% Chocolate

1tbsp coconut oil

300ml Water

Kcal 500

Protein 42g

Fat 23g

Carbs 32g

Tastes totally wicked. Plus if I ever need to up the calorie count I can always sub in whole milk for the water.

Peace

BFT

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I've heard that our bodies are only able to absorb about 10g of protein per hour. I'm just wondering how it's possible to get enough protein to bulk up and why it isn't wasteful to consume 50g+ of protein in one shake if this is the case.

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I've heard that our bodies are only able to absorb about 10g of protein per hour.

 

Where'd you hear that?

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Where'd you hear that?

 

 

 

From reading Steve's page about supplements in the core nutrition content section: https://academy.nerdfitness.com/level-up/nutrition/supplements/

Within that page, under "What about protein powders?" and under "The final word: Pumping yourself full of 300g of protein isn't necessary," I clicked the link embedded with the words "isn't necessary." This takes you to a Precision Nutrition article titled "Protein Supplements: Are you even absorbing yours?" by Helen Kollias. In this article, she explains that whey protein can only be absorbed at about a rate of 8-10g per hour and that it takes about 1.5 hours for viscous liquids to pass through the section of the gut that can actually absorb it. This means that you can only absorb 15g at most from a protein shake. I don't know what the absorption rate for other types of protein is, though I'm willing to bet that our absorption rate is higher for protein from meats. Plus, those solid foods move more slowly through our digestive tract, giving more time for absorption. At the same time, though, I still don't think the absorption rate for other types of protein would be high enough to justify eating 50g+ of protein at one time. But since I have no idea what the absorption rates and digestion times for other types of proteins are, I thought I'd ask what others think.

 

I also realize that most protein powders include digestive enzymes to help increase the absorption, but the extent to which absorption is improved by this and how different this effect is between different supplement brands is also something about which I have no idea.

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From reading Steve's page about supplements in the core nutrition content section: https://academy.nerdfitness.com/level-up/nutrition/supplements/

 

Gotcha.  I can't read the link.  Only paying Academy members have access.

 

 

This takes you to a Precision Nutrition article titled "Protein Supplements: Are you even absorbing yours?" by Helen Kollias.

 

Got it.  Reading it.

 

Okay.  Let's get to the bottom of this.  I'm now reading the research study she based her conclusions on.

 

 

Good.  Okay.  Let's chat. :)

 

 

 In this article, she explains that whey protein can only be absorbed at about a rate of 8-10g per hour and that it takes about 1.5 hours for viscous liquids to pass through the section of the gut that can actually absorb it. This means that you can only absorb 15g at most from a protein shake. I don't know what the absorption rate for other types of protein is,

 

You didn't really hear that our bodies are only able to absorb about 10 grams of protein per hour.  You heard that our bodies are only able to absorb about 10 grams of whey protein per hour.  Agreed?

 

 

Here's what the study tells us, and my thoughts after each quotation:

 

 

(1) "The protein used in this study was dry WPC, 85% protein on a dry basis, 6% fat, 3% ash and 6% lactose (Alacen 131, NZP North America)."

 

Potential Issue #1:  Most protein powders on the market are not just whey.  They're a whey & casein blend.  Since this study didn't address whey & casein blend powders, its conclusions may not be relevant for users of many protein powder brands.

 

 

(2)  "The entire contents of each individual serving packet containing Aminogen® were emptied into 0.5 L of distilled water, vigorously shaken and consumed." 

 

Potential Issue #2:  The study only involved a whey-water solution.  Whey protein powders may be drunk in a water solution, but are also very often drunk in a milk solution.  This means this study's results may be irrelevant to people who drink whey powder dissolved in milk.

 

 

(3)  "Control WPC contained no proteolytic enzymes and the test WPC was blended with either 2.5 or 5 g of Aminogen®, (US patent # 5,387,422)."

 

Potential Issue #2.5:  The study's protein powder contained no proteolytic enzymes (the added Aminogen does, which is what the study was about).  But milk does contain protelytic enzymes.  Since water, not milk, was used for this study's protein powder solution, this reinforces that the study's results may be irreleveant for anybody who drinks whey powder in milk.  (Or we could also assume that since milk already has protelytic enzymes, we could drink our powder dissolved in milk instead of buying Aminogen. :eagerness:)

 

 

And here's something Helen Kollias tells us in her article:

 

(4) "If I find some way to slow down transit time, by making a Super Shake, by adding the protein to oatmeal, or by using a milk blend containing casein, would that slow transit time enough to make a difference in absorption?  My suspicions are yes"

 

Noteworthy: Helen just agreed that the way most people already use protein powders - a whey & casein blend dissolved in milk (which itself contains both whey & casein) - likely increases protein absorption.

 

 

(5) "In the case of whey protein supplementation, thanks to the science, the days of slamming a 50g protein shake are gone."

 

Potential Issue #3:  She's only cited a single research study, and the study she's citing has a limited scope that she's going beyond with her conclusions.  She cannot with any honesty or credibility make a blanket statement like this.   The only "science" she's cited doesn't address protein absorption using the most common blend of protein powders on the market, nor protein absorption in a milk solution (which she even admits she suspects would increase absorption).

 

 

 

Now, does this mean that the human body can make full use of a 50 grams protein shake, even if we use a whey & casein blend and mix it with milk?  Nope.  It doesn't mean that.  But it doesn't mean the body can't either.

 

To find out, we'd need to review more research.  Which is what Helen Kollias should have done for her article.

 

 

 

Hope this helped!

 

 

 

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You didn't really hear that our bodies are only able to absorb about 10 grams of protein per hour.  You heard that our bodies are only able to absorb about 10 grams of whey protein per hour.  Agreed?

 

I actually did realize that it was whey protein, as I pointed out in my previous post. I'm saying that I want to know how the absorption rate of whey protein compares to other types of proteins and digestion times. My original question wasn't about wanting to understand that article better (I was just telling you where I heard that we only absorb 10g per hour). I just assumed that, since Steve put the article in the academy's core content, he agreed with the position taken in it, and I was, therefore, confused because drinking this shake seemed to contradict that. However, it is still useful to note that drinking the powder with milk and adding other ingredients to slow digestion has a significant affect. I'm just wondering if that's enough to allow all 50g+ to be absorbed or, if not, how much is still being wasted.

 

But what I really want to know more about is how protein in general is absorbed, whether consuming that much at once is the best method, how much is wasted, etc. I am among the majority of people who, unlike Steve, are trying to build muscle but LOSE weight overall rather than gain, so I want to make sure that I'm making my caloric intake count as much as possible towards that goal. Since this shake is over 700 calories, I would rather not use shakes like this if most of the protein isn't even going to be absorbed. It would be helpful to know if other protein sources would be more effective for my goals. But I'm hoping that those two factors of drinking the powder with milk (which I already do, but with 2% instead of whole) and adding other ingredients (which I do a little of and could definitely explore more fully) to slow digestion will help enough for it to be worth the calories. All is know is that currently I'm always hungry within 2 hours of drinking my morning shake (even as little as 1 hour if I've just done strength training). At the same time, my shakes aren't nearly as big as this shake.

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