Ready, Set, Drink


No time to make a meal or even a protein shake? No worries. You can always rely on pre-made liquid shakes, known as RTDs, which stand for “ready to drink.” RTDs generally cost a little more than powdered protein shakes per dose, but they provide the convenience and nutrition you need when you don’t have other options. You just need to know which RTD to buy to suit your individual needs.

“I want something that will help me during my get-lean phase.”

You need an RTD that’s high in protein but low in both carbs and fat. Look for shakes that derive at least 50 percent or more of their calories from protein. Good options include the following:

Labrada Nutrition Lean Body
BSN Syntha-6
ISS Research OhYeah!

“I need an RTD that can be a meal substitute.”

Many RTDs strike a balance between carbs, protein and fats, and some are labeled “weight-gainers.” Look for shakes that contain this balance. Good options include the following:

Muscle Milk
ABB Performance XXL (Drink half to cut back on calories and save the rest for later.)
EAS Myoplex Lite (One makes a light snack, and two make for a small meal.)

“I need an RTD that can provide the nutrients I need for muscle growth after workouts.”

What you need is a combo of protein and carbs with very little fat or fiber. However, it can be hard to find an RTD that has enough carbs but little fat. If that’s the case, you can just add a carb drink to your protein shake or high-protein RTD and create the perfect postworkout drink on the go. A good option for this includes the following:

ABB Performance Maxx Recovery (good blend of protein and carbs)
ABB Performance Carbo Force (almost purely carbs; add it to a protein shake)