Let’s talk nutrition, specifically post-workout fuel. It seems the focus lately has been on pre-workout supplements and getting the energy ‘kick’ before a workout. Perhaps more important than that energy bump is how you fuel your body once the workout is over.
During high intensity, weight training, or endurance workouts of 45 minutes or longer, protein breakdown occurs in our body. In order to increase hypertrophy (muscle gain), fat loss, and muscle gain we need to increase our muscle synthesis (building-up). So, what does it take and how do we do it?
Simple really. Immediately following your workout, we need to fuel our muscles with not only protein but carbohydrates as well. Protein is what your muscles need to grow and be fueled, however, carbohydrates are what deliver those proteins to be absorbed and useful. One without the other is simply not as efficient or beneficial to maximal results.
After you finish that last rep (and put your weights away ) you have 2 hours to replenish your body. Ideally, you will consume post-workout nutrients within 30 minutes. This is why having an easy option such as a recovery shake can be ideal, the sooner we can consume the better our body reacts in protein synthesis.
So, here’s the dish (pun intended). Our post-workout meal or shake should have (at least) 15g of protein and 30g of carbs. Some things to consider: certain types of protein and carbs are absorbed quicker than others. Some fast absorbing proteins include: protein hydrolysates or isolates. For carbs consider: maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose, etc. Another supplement to consider adding are BCAA (branch chain amino acids), this can also aid in readily available nutrients to rebuild muscles during protein breakdown.
Train hard, eat smart and cheers to good health!