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Wed June 13, 2018

C&J: 1 OT90 x 6 sets - build from 65%

For time:

Run 800m 30 Clean & Jerk (185/125) Run 800m


Cold Brew Coffee Recovery Shake

by Coach Courtney, RD

Recovery is an essential part of any fitness routine - especially if performance is your priority. It is not the workout alone that increase endurance, strength and builds muscle but the body’s ability to adapt and heal from the physical stressor. Exercise will make us stronger, leaner, fitter, and more muscular but not without the proper nutrition and recovery protocols to repair and replenish. Without the proper fuel, we don't reap the full benefits of our workout including improved performance, body composition, energy, and the prevention of injury.

Post-workout nutrition is an intriguing topic and can be discussed in great depth. As a general overview, post-workout nutrition has three specific purposes:

  1. Replenish glycogen (the way our body stores carbohydrate for energy in our muscles)

  2. Decrease protein breakdown and increase protein synthesis

  3. Rehydrate to replace fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat.

1. Carbohydrates to restore

Recharging with carbohydrates restores muscle glycogen - the energy burned in our muscles during high intensity exercise. Consuming carbohydrate post-workout allows the body to restore glycogen so that you recovery and can tackle your next workout. Post-workout carbohydrate consumption becomes increasingly important if you have back-to-back exercise sessions planned (like a CrossFit competition!). The duration and intensity of your workout will affect your carbohydrate needs post-workout.

2. Protein to build

Our muscles need protein to grow and repair after training. Having a protein source after resistance exercise promotes increases to lean body mass (ie. muscle mass!). While carbohydrate restoration post-exercise is essential, protein should also be consumed to repair muscle. Protein requirements are individualized to personal goals, muscle mass, and exercise type.

3. Fluids to rehydrate

Being well-hydrated is important for overall health but also for exercise performance. When you exercise, you lose fluids and electrolytes through sweat and respiration. If you are dehydrated, your blood volume decreases making it difficult for your muscles to access the oxygen and nutrients needed to recover. The duration and intensity of your workout will affect the amount of fluids you require. Keep in mind that you may need more fluids depending on the environmental conditions. If it is hot or windy you may lose more fluid through sweat! In addition to fluids, athletes need electrolytes (like salt). Read more here.

Recommendations for a post-workout protein shakes or snacks depends on your personal goals.

A post-workout snack or protein shake isn’t always necessary. For many, a meal containing carbohydrates and protein from “real food” is enough. Consider:

  • If your goal is muscle gain or performance a recovery snack (eg. a protein shake and a banana) immediately after your workout will be beneficial.

  • If your goal is fat loss, skip the recovery snack and opt for a recovery meal only that is centered around “whole foods.” (eg. sweet potatoes with chicken and veggies!).

As mentioned, if you’re prioritizing fat loss, a post-workout recovery drink is not ideal. It would be better to reserve your calories for a post-workout meal consisting of whole foods. Whole food sources of nutrition (like sweet potatoes or chicken!) will keep you fuller because they digest more slowly but still ensure your body is obtaining the protein and carbohydrate needed to recover.

That being said, after a hot summer workout it isn’t always appetizing to eat a hot meal. This post-workout shake is perfect for those occasions. I like the addition of the coffee for an extra caffeine kick if I am feeling tired after a tough workout! The banana offers carbohydrate to replenish glycogen stores and the protein powder offers protein (duh!) to rebuild those hard-working muscles! I select unsweetened almond milk to avoid unnecessary, added sugars. I’d rather obtain my carbs from the banana!

You could use leftover coffee from the morning or opt for cold brew coffee which can be purchased at most grocery stores. The Compliments brand (at Sobeys) and President’s Choice brand (Superstore/Independent Grocers) are convenient options to stock in your fridge!

Bonus tip: freeze your coffee or unsweetened almond milk in an ice cube tray. You can opt for these frozen coffee/almond milk ice cubes for an extra creamy shake!

Cold Brew Coffee Recovery Shake


  • 1 banana, frozen (~125g)

  • 1 scoop (30g) protein powder (I used chocolate)

  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • ½ cup cold brewed coffee

  • Lots of ice (see tip above)


  1. Add all of the ingredients to your blender

  2. Blender until thick and creamy

  3. Use frozen coffee or unsweetened almond milk ice cubes for an even creamier shake

  4. You may need to add extra almond milk, cold brew coffee, or water if the shake is too thick

  5. It makes a large serving! Woohoo - who doesn’t love large servings.

Nutrition Facts depend on the protein powder you choose. Approximate breakdown:

  • 298 calories

  • 32g carbohydrate

  • 4g fat

  • 30g protein

  • 4g fibre

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