Shake It Off Shakes – Shape Up with Oat Milk
Ask the common man what type of food he thinks is needed to build muscle, and his reply is likely to be ‘protein shakes’. He’s not wrong to point that out as protein is a macronutrient that plays a vital role in the muscle building process; but so do carbohydrates. In fact, carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy especially during intense workouts and should not be neglected in any part of your workout meal plans.
Getting an adequate amount of calories in the form of complex carbohydrates allows your body to draw energy from the carbohydrates. For the most part, these calories are the best because they offer a generous amount of fibre and burn slowly in your body to give you a steady source of energy rather than a burst that could easily result with a sugar crash.
Protein shakes do have qualities to boast but so does the understated and ingenious combination of oat and milk. Here’s why you should let oat milk take the lead if you’re serious about bulking up.
What Makes Oat Milk A Better Mass Builder Than Protein Shakes?
Ordinary athletes and fitness enthusiasts often opt for protein shakes believing that it makes a convenient, all-in meal for protein and carbohydrates. But there’s a big caveat because it actually doesn’t take that much protein to reach the goal of building more mass.
American dietitian and sports nutritionist, Barbara Lewin advises that only 20 to 28 grams of protein is required to build one kilogram of muscle. With protein shakes comprising up to 80 grams of protein per serving, you may be causing long term harm to your kidneys and liver.
In fact, the ratio of protein to carbohydrates should be maintained at 1:3 so that you can get a proper proportion of nutrients to set your body in the optimum condition for increasing mass. With a content make up of 8.3g protein and 21.8g carbohydrates, oat milk1 already fulfills the main criteria of a perfectly balanced pre-workout snack.
Oats in oat milk, by nature are a complex carbohydrate containing molecules like sugars, starch and fibre. Your body therefore takes a longer time to break down and absorb these nutrients compared to a simple carbohydrate. The slower the digestion, the longer the lifespan of energy, which gives you additional strength and stamina during mass building.
Protein shakes on the other hand, comprise mostly protein powder and milk. Typically, one serving of protein powder consists of 90% or more protein, and only traces of carbohydrates. Without a sufficient amount of carbohydrates in your system, your body will resort to utilizing protein for energy and compromise on its primary function of delivering protein to your muscles for growth and repair.
Just Enough Protein
Oats make a great source of protein because of a particular amino acid, leucine, which is prevalent in it. It is an essential amino acid and is highly recommended to be included in the diet of those looking to increase bulk because the body is unable to produce it naturally.
Although oats do not offer the complete composition of protein – nine amino acids, it possesses a higher score of amino acids than its other counterparts such as rice cereal and wheat cereal. Since milk ranks one of the highest on the protein scale of natural foods, oat milk makes up for the missing amino acids in oats. That said, the protein content of oat and milk combined, is still far less than that of protein shakes and enough to drive your muscles to be strengthened.
Addition Of Iron
Anyone who engages in any form of exercise or fitness regime should also make a conscious effort to include iron in a workout diet plan as it is an essential nutrient that the body can’t produce either.
More than just a complex carbohydrate and vehicle of protein, oat milk is also jam-packed with iron. Without the presence of iron, your bloodstream and muscles may not be supplied with enough oxygen. Impaired aerobic metabolism and reduced muscle capacity to absorb oxygen may result from this, affecting your exercise performance. This too could lead to your body feeling overworked and your muscles, strained.
Because protein shakes are highly processed, there are few nutrients that your body actually finds useful. Conversely, oat milk is a wholesome beverage that is packed with many other supplementary nutrients including fibre and calcium.
Just by having two glasses of oat milk before your hitting the gym or running track will have your muscles all geared up and your daily calcium intake settled. Talk about killing two birds with a stone. What’s equally good is that unlike numerous health drinks, oat milk is tasty with its mild and sweet graininess that will tinkle your taste buds.
Best Only When Fresh
It’s one thing to have your fridge stocked with an endless supply of oat milk, but another to ensure that it is fresh and safe for consumption. While milk is pasteurized to make it safe to drink, the nutrient laden creamy beverage still remains a delicate fresh produce. Once a carton of milk is opened, it is exposed to oxidation, loses quality and begins to lose its freshness rapidly.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) recommends that milk when opened be consumed within two to three days2. Milk opened any longer than this runs the risk of becoming infested with unhealthy bacteria, which can affect your digestive and immune systems and lead to food poisoning. With a weakened system, the rate of muscle growth and repair will be compromised as your body will have to focus on rebooting everything back to status quo.
1 The description for oat milk is only in reference to Magnolia’s Lo-Fat Hi-Cal Oat Milk