Welcome back! So last week, we took a dive into the world of pre-workout nutrition. This week we are going to cover post workout nutrition.
As some of you may remember, we have scratched the surface of post-workout nutrition. Many thought parties out there seem to believe that eating immediately after a workout is absolutely necessary or else our Anabolic Window closes & we make zero gains. Well, you can read more on that here, but for the purpose of this article, we simply want to look at what makes up great post workout nutrition. Is it donuts? I sure hope so and it’s possible. Can it be pizza? Play your cards right and it could. Does it have to be brown rice & chicken? If that floats your boat. Lets get into it.
For me personally, I would put post workout nutrition above pre-workout nutrition. Because, if you’re like me, you workout fasted so a pre-workout meal is really not factored into your training regimen. Sure, if I eat like garbage the night before, it could definitely impact my lift the next day but those night’s are few and far between for me personally because abs … and gains … summer is coming. So for me, it’s definitely imperative that I maximize my post workout nutrition and in turn, maximize dem gains.
Yes, I know … there is a ton of confusing information out there regarding nutrition that can make your quest for a great post-workout meal even harder. Like, you can only consume 30g of protein in one sitting. Or that carbs after dark will make you fat. Etc, etc. Pay no mind to these!
Post workout nutrition is aimed at addressing a few goals.
1) Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
2) Increase protein synthesis (aka gain).
3) Restore glycogen stores (replenish energy)
4) Enhance recovery (limit DOMS)
5) all of the above combined to improve future athletic performance
Proteins – This is a major key post workout. Protein helps to repair & build muscle post workout. After exercise, the body decreases its rate of protein synthesis and increases its rate of protein breakdown. The addition of protein and amino acids to your post workout meal will help in reversing this aka holding onto your precious muscle & helping build new precious muscle. Options are endless when it comes to sources – Chicken, Salmon, Protein Powder, Greek Yogurt, Eggs.
Carbs – Seeing as how carbs are the most readily available source of energy for your muscle to get through a tough workout, your muscle glycogen stores are most likely empty after a workout. It’s highly important to replenish your glycogen stores post workout in order to set yourself up for success in your next workout. Sweet potatoes, fruit, rice cakes, pasta … and of course Donuts (remember its all about balance and tracking those macros) … can be good sources of carbs post workout
Fats – Fats can be delicious … Peanut butter, cheese, avocado. However, when it comes to post workout nutrition, they can probably be the supporting actor not necessarily the star (Unless you’re in a Ketogenic diet, in which case, I personally have not experienced and cannot speak to). The argument is that fats can slow your digestion since it is a denser micronutrients. But some fat will not diminish your recovery.
And there you have it folks. Post workout nutrition at a very high level. “Abs are made in the kitchen” is a saying for a reason. You can never out work a bad diet. Am I saying you shouldn’t have a burger & fries post workout? Absolutely, not! But what I am telling you is that you should know 100% what your goals are and fully understand what is going into your body. Because if you don’t know the foundation of your nutritional plan, then you are already set up for failure. Monitor, track, be in tune with how you feel after you eat things and then adjust. It’s all about trial and error and finding out what works for you.
Now go out there and get your gains!
*disclaimer – we are not claiming that the above will work for you. we are merely sharing information with some personal anecdotes*