Your muscles need a precise balance of nutrients to make the most of a workout

So says Alan Aragon, a nutritionist in Thousand Oaks, California, and an Australian Men’s Health advisor.

BUILD YOUR BASE

You want enough quality protein to maximise muscle protein synthesis and minimise muscle breakdown during a workout. You also need carbs for energy and a little fat to help you absorb nutrients. Start with 10 scoops of protein powder (about 30g) and 340g of fat free milk instead of water. This yields roughly 1 080kj, 40g of protein, 16g of carbs, and three grams of fat. Toss in some fruit for flavour, or a tablespoon of peanut butter for a creamier shake. These will boost kilojoules, carbs and fat, but they’re good for your overall diet.

KEEP IT SMOOTH

Buzz the concoction in a blender. Add ice if you like your shakes thicker. If you’re using a shaker bottle, prevent clumping by pouring about a cup of the milk into the bottle before adding the powder. Shake it up until the powder is well incorporated, add the rest of the milk, and shake again until smooth.

TIME IT RIGHT

Drink your shake within the hour prior to your workout. This is the best time to fuel your muscles for high-intensity training.