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A couple of years ago, my husband offered me a protein shake after our workout. It was an awful experience. Not only did the shake taste terrible, it had an unrecognizable laundry list of ingredients. Although I knew that some form of post-workout protein was good for me, I still had a mental hang-up about consuming calories after I just worked so hard to burn them off.
There can be a stigma around eating or drinking protein post-workout. I used to worry about calories in versus calories out, not to mention the "bulk and biceps" that many assume come along with an imbalance. After receiving my health coaching certification, it became even more apparent to me how essential consuming protein is to an individual’s fitness routine. I quickly learned that my clients were just as confused about the benefits of post-workout protein as I had been!
This thinking sound familiar? The truth is that post-workout recovery isn't a game of math, and contrary to popular belief, protein won't bulk you up (it doesn’t help that most commercial protein shakes include elements we can barely pronounce). That’s why we created Après—clean, plant-based protein beverages with minimal ingredients. We are all about whole body replenishment. Here’s how Après can help you upgrade your current thinking about protein shakes and benefit your fitness routine:
Whether you just finished a hardcore HIIT class, hot yoga or a new Pilates sequence, working out breaks down your muscles. These muscles will either grow back stronger than they were before or break down even more. It all depends on how and when you feed them. Within the first 30 minutes of completing your workout, your muscles are best primed to absorb nutrients—especially protein.
When your muscles are properly fed, they grow back stronger than they did before. Stronger muscles improve your metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories throughout the day. Let's be clear though; strong muscles don't necessarily mean bigger, bulkier muscles. At Après, we are particularly obsessed with plant proteins (obviously) and combine the best of the best from organic pea, chia, cacao, and hemp. This means a robust BCAA profile plus added vitamins and minerals. Our drinks are good for your body and your palate.
You just burned 400 calories in your workout—so why put calories back into your body right away? It can seem counterintuitive, but when you eat the right post-workout snack, not only are you fueling your muscles, but you're substituting fewer current calories in place of more in the future. Protein helps control ghrelin, your hunger hormone, so try consuming around 13 grams of protein post-workout (exactly how many are in an Après!) to keep you full, energized and out of the office snack drawer.
As they say, you are what you eat. Your hair is made of proteins, so when you don't eat enough, your locks suffer. At Après, we love adding a plant protein like hemp into our drinks because it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's contain GLA (or gamma-linolenic acid), which can help your hair grow faster. Plus, as you already know, your body is ready to absorb more protein and nutrition than usual after a workout, so drinking Après can benefit more than just your muscles.
Adding protein to your fitness routine can help your body in more ways than one. It's also great for skin and nails, keeps you energized and can even help you think more clearly. When you don't consume protein immediately post-workout, you're doing more harm than good. So, give back to your body and sip on that Après protein shake with style.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!