It’s no surprise, you work lots of long hours. You're up before the sun rises and still working long after it sets. But yet, even in spite of all of that, you somehow find a way to fit in your workouts during the week.
Whether it be a crossfit WOD, insane circuit, or maybe just lots of heavy deadlifts (HINT: deadlifting is always the answer when someone asks "What should I do today?"), you're going to need to fuel up before and after your session.
However, with everything else you have going on in your life, the last thing you want to do is prep a mountain of food, dirty a ton of dishes, and have to clean up everything in the end. Sound familiar?
Well, I've got a go to recipe that is simple, quick, and nutritious.
Step 1: Assemble The Ingredients
Here's what you're going to need:
- Oats: Any version is fine: whole, steel cut, or quick. One isn't superior to another. However, just be aware that steel cut may require more time to soak.
- Whey Protein: Preferably one that isn't spiked with glycine, taurine, and/or creatine monohydrate to inflate label claims.
- Cocoa Powder: This works exceptionally well to enhance the flavor of chocolate protein powders but also provides some powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. (Not pictured)
- Fruit: Fresh or frozen works equally as well.
- Greek Yogurt: Get the real stuff, not that high fructose, diabetes inducing yoplait nonsense.
- Coconut Oil: Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are good for the soul.
- Peanut or Almond Butter: If you've never tried almond butter, do your mouth a favor and pick up a jar today.
- Flax or Chia Seeds: You can pick up a big bag at Sams Club, Costco, or Trader Joes.
- Cinnamon: Because what isn't better with cinnamon? Not to mention it helps regulate insulin sensitivity; thus, a win-win in my book.
Now, I know what you're thinking..."Wow, that's ALOT of calories!"...Don't use all of them at once. I'll go over exactly how to pick and choose what works best for what YOU enjoy and what meets your caloric needs.
Step 2: Combine All The Dry Ingredients
At this point, find the largest tupperware container available. Don't mess around when it comes to your gainz...
Measure and add the following ingredients (if desired): oats, whey, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and flax/chia seeds.
Step 3: Add Wet Ingredients & Water
Alright, now it's time to add your coconut oil, nut butter, and/or greek yogurt depending upon what sort of mix you're concocting (more on this in the tips and tricks section below).
Once you've measured and added all of the wet ingredients, begin mixing and add water until the oats are fairly well covered.
It will take a little trial and error to get the right amount of H2O but once you find the consistency you like, it'll be easy to replicate.
Step 4: Leave In The Fridge Overnight
Now, this is where the magic happens. Once you've added all your ingredients, simply snap on a lid, and toss it in the back of fridge for 8-12 hours.
The oats will absorb most of the excess water and begin to gain a rather chewy texture.
Tips & Tricks!
If you want a THICKER mixture, use one or more of the following:
- Less water.
- A protein powder containing thickening agents like xanthan or guar gum.
- Chia or flax seeds.
- Coconut oil.
- Greek yogurt.
- PRO TIP: The longer it sits, the thicker it gets.
If you want a THINNER mixture, use one or more of the following:
- More water.
- A neutral protein powder without thickening agents like those listed above.
- Don't allow it to sit for as long - however, be aware that the oats will be slightly tougher to chew.
"What's the optimal ratio for oats to protein powder?"
Well, without getting into a huge discussion on post workout nutritional recommendations, I'll keep it simple and say 1:1 scoop of whey per cup of oats. However, this will really depend upon the entire macronutrient context of your diet and your total daily protein intake.
For example, I'm currently taking in a little over 4,000 calories a day to fuel my active lifestyle and help me reach my goals so my typical concoction usually clocks in around 1200-1400 calories of anabolic goodness. Something along these lines:
- 2 Cups of oats
- 1.5 Scoops of whey
- 1 Tbsp of coconut oil OR 2 tbsp of flax
- 0.5 Cups of greek yogurt (I use less whey when I add GY)
- 2 Tbsp of cocoa
- 2 Servings of frozen or fresh fruit
- Liberal amounts of cinnamon
- 1 Cup of granola for topping
I've been crushing this at least once, sometimes even twice a day for the last 2 years as it's something very simple and quick you can make, take on the go, and still get in some solid nutrition.
People might give you some weird looks and I’ve caught some flack for it since most have no idea what you’re eating that resembles spackling paste. Trust me, they have no idea what they're missing out on until they try it.
Like I said, it really depends upon how many calories you're taking in but this is something that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or postworkout. Play around with the ingredients, ratios, and potential combinations; there are literally endless possibilities.
It's as simple as that; try it out and let me know what you think. If you want to follow the mastermind behind this anabolic concoction, you can find him on Facebook @ Michael Joseph Wines.