Post Workout Shake: Should you?
AUGUST, 2020
Judo Life Nutrition

So, you have been training hard!

Great job! Keep it going. 

You will get stronger, and you will get fitter and healthier. 

It is always good if you put 100% effort and dedication into your training, but it isn’t only training that is important.  To maximise your results, you must focus on various factors.  A significant one is a nutrition.  In Judo strength and endurance is important, but so is recovery. We don’t want to lose muscle mass after hard training sessions, and we want to encourage good recovery. In every sport, and Judo is no different – a well-balanced diet is critical when it comes to body composition, strength, high performance and endurance.  You must make sure you eat the correct food at the correct time and in the correct quantities to ensure that you can continue to train hard and sustain the effort level. You have probably seen people drinking protein shakes right after their judo session or after a hard gym workout.  Have you ever wondered why they do it? The answer is “window of opportunity” or “anabolic window”. This still doesn’t explain anything so lets see if we can help.
Post exercise shake
Photograph by Agata
We should start from the beginning.  During a hard workout, we damage our muscles at the microlevel.  We create micro-injuries that ultimately have to be repaired by our bodies.  That sounds counterintuitive but it is this damage/recover phase at the microlevel that makes our muscles stronger and makes us fitter. During our training sessions, we take our energy from the glycogen stored in our muscles. Glycogen is a form of sugar we get from the carbohydrates we consume.  After a judo session or any other high-intensity training regime, our glycogen drops down as we have just used it for energy. We must restore that and in order to do so, we have to eat.   To restore glycogen and repair muscles we must concentrate on good nutrition.  Our focus should go to restoring key nutrients.  In order to repair muscles and make them stronger we should focus on consuming good proteins, and in order to restore our energy levels and glycogen, we should focus on good carbohydrates.

“Do you really need protein right after a workout or training session?”

Many believe that our body is more capable of using these two nutrients more efficiently and absorb it quickly during the above mentioned “window of opportunity” or “anabolic window”.  It seems that this window lasts for about 30 minutes post-workout AND that is why people like to focus on having that protein shake so quickly. They don’t want to miss the opportunity of refeeding their body, repairing muscles and restoring glycogen levels.  Protein shakes fit great in this role and consumed within about 30 minutes post-exercise seem to help us replenish what we lost, helping to promote muscle repair, and also restoring our energy levels and helping us feel less achy.  While it is no substitute for a properly balanced post-workout meal it is a very convenient and practical alternative for a lot of people.
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Method and Ingredients:

The most delicious, easy to make, nutritious protein shake we can suggest requires only four ingredients, can be premade at home and is very tasty. You will need:

  • A banana
  • Milk (cows milk, nut milk – use what works for you)
  • Whey protein powder – chocolate tastes amazing
  • Peanut butter (or peanut butter powder, or any other nut butter)

You mix everything in a blender, and that is it. You have your own, nutritious homemade protein shake to use during the anabolic window after your training.

Check out our video above.


There is no definitive science behind this ’window of opportunity’ or if you prefer ‘anabolic window’.

However observing world-class athletes we can see they do use protein shakes as a post-workout meal, and they have great results.

The human body is very complicated and some things are very hard to prove as they are very complex.

One thing we know for sure: It will not do you any harm to use protein shakes to your advantage in conjunction with a good well balanced, well-considered diet.  If you feel good with that and see results then there is your answer!

It is also worth mentioning that in order to achieve your personal training goals, you have to focus on eating a good diet in general.

One shake alone is not going to make a difference.  A diet that is nutritionally dense and well balanced will fuel your body and work for you in the long term.

You know they say that proper balance is the key. The balance here is an excellent training regime, proper nutrition, stress management, life balance, mental health, quality of sleep, just to mention a few.

What absolutely know is that caring about yourself gets you results. 

Try it and see…