Since the beginning of time, super-fit humans have been asking, “What should I eat post workout?!?!”
I hear this a lot. It’s an amazing question and it has a very simple answer. Oftentimes I see people consuming a post workout “meal” consisting of the ultimate concoction of liger power and Lucky Charms amazingness, while throwing the rest of their day away with less-than-ideal choices like a banana peel, right out the window. Fact: Consuming one fantastic post-workout shake of protein happiness does not trump the poor choices you made for the other 3-4 meals you ate throughout the day.
If we expect great recovery and progress from our efforts, we need to be aware of all of our choices. In order to see progress, we must make small intelligent choices all day and build the foundation to health and fitness. CREATE POSITIVE HABITS.
Post-workout, you need to do two things:
A.) replenish glycogen stores (put simply, glycogen is what your muscles recruit to give your body the energy to work at a higher intensity to crush a workout).
B.) repair the damaged tissues.
These are done with fast acting carbohydrates (fruit, simple sugars) and fast absorbing protein. Typically an Isolate or Whey protein as these are the fastest. Although, if you have a sensitive stomach or have a feud with milk then a veggie based protein may be what you need.
What exactly qualifies as “post-workout?”
15 minutes? 1hr? Tomorrow morning?
Typically you would want to consume both fast acting carbs AND protein with-in 1 hour of conquering all things badass.
1/4 of your daily carbohydrates should fill in after your workout (assuming that you didn’t slack and gave it your all; there is no reward for lack of trying. If you didn’t tap out your glycogen, you don’t need to replenish all of it).
25-50 grams of protein will do the trick. There are tons of ideas behind this but for today’s message, guys should be on the higher end (40-50) of that spectrum and ladies on the lower end (25).
Remember, you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. Your body needs fuel to run, and to recover from the work we do. Good luck and keep progressing. Forward motion is not free. There is a tax on progress that you must be willing to pay. #paytheman