Post Workout Nutrition
A huge topic of discussion with those who workout is the post-workout meal, more importantly what it should comprise of. Some may tell you to load up the protein, others may say load up on carbs, but what really applies to you? Of course there is no one size fits all when it comes to nutrition and this will come down to what you find works best for you. However, we can direct you towards the science behind what is most important for everyone and how to maximize training effects.
The biggest myth is that you must consume a rather large amount of protein in order to maximize gains but this simply isn’t true. Actually, experts recommend that individuals consume around 0.2 g/ kg to 0.4 g/ kg of protein per body weight. The amino acid profile will allow for muscle repair and growth to promote the anabolic effect many talk about.
This is the most important macronutrient you need to take in post workout. Carbohydrates are readily burned in a workout routine and are required to replace energy stores in muscles. A high carb meal or drink post workout can help replace this energy for the next workout and help repair muscles. It also stimulates an insulin release which will help protein replace damaged muscle tissues. Intake should be 0.8 grams to 1.2 grams of carbohydrate per 1 kg of bodyweight. Though, it suggests that unless the workout was endurance based and exceeded an hour, then the lower range of this suggestion is more appropriate.
Timing depends on two factors: 1. What time the workout was, and 2. When you ate last. For those who wake up and perform their workout before breakfast, the time frame for a post-workout meal is immediately and within 30 minutes. This is due to fasting and insulin resistance from not eating for so long. If you perform your workout later in the day and eat regularly then the window can be up to 2 hours. If you workout later in the day but nutrition isn’t on par then you must eat immediately to replace energy stores and promote growth.
I hope this helps your post-workout meals and remember always consult your physician or registered dietician before starting a new diet plan.
The Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. National Academy of Sports Medicine 6th Edition.