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Fitness ​The quickest, most effective muscle-building shake

It delivers a perfect mix of nutrients and takes 30 seconds to make​.

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quick muscle shake

(Photograph by Men's Health)
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Weightlifting is just part of the muscle-building equation. You also need a surplus of calories, which your body uses as materials for growth.

When I first work with pro athletes or soldiers who need to bulk up, I have them train hard and add an extra 200 to 400 calories a day. We see how they respond to that, then tweak their training and eating from there.

Oftentimes, I don't have those guys change anything, but have them drink my go-to “Emergency Shake" every day. It has a near-perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fat, and it takes 30 seconds to make. Although it’s good in a pinch, it doesn’t skimp on nutrition: It contains 100 percent orange juice, whey protein, and fish oil (Carlson’s lemon flavor fish oil works particularly well).

The guys usually start to add muscle and shed fat rather quickly.

The orange juice delivers quick-digesting carbs as well as vitamins and minerals. The whey adds a significant amount of protein, giving your body an extra opportunity to build muscle. And the omega-3s pack in good fat and potentially reduce post-workout muscle soreness.

Nutrition is a key topic that I touch on in my Men’s Health book, Maximus Body. My philosophy is that you need to make your nutrition work for you, and eat to support your goal.

The truth is that most diet plans are designed with weight loss in mind. But if you also want to build killer fitness, those plans can sell you short, leaving you underfed and feeling like crap. That sabotages your performance and ability to build muscle.

That’s why I provide five straightforward and painless guidelines in the book that allow you to use the foods you love to better yourself and transform your body.

This shake is just one example of a quick nutrition hack you’ll find in the book. The shake is my own go-to, because it’s a perfect option in between meals or before or after a workout. I drink one nearly every day.

“Emergency Shake" Recipe

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup 100 percent orange juice

  • 1 Tbsp high quality fish oil

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein

How to make it:

Add orange juice, fish oil, and protein powder into a blender bottle and shake.

Nutrition: 350 calories, 29 grams carbs, 15 grams fat, 24 grams protein

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