Mastering post workout nutrition is the key to building the body of your dreams.
Too many people out there spend the majority of their time focusing on building more and more intense and grueling workouts to put their muscles through, never really giving the necessary consideration to their post workout nutrition to be sure that the body gets all of the fuel it needs to speed up recovery and your results.
Talk about a major mistake!
With proper post workout nutrition you’re going to be able to immediately flood your body with all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary to build muscle faster, recover from injuries quicker, and melt more fat than you would have been able to with exercise alone.
At the same time it’s just as important to find the right foods to eat post workout as it is to time their consumption perfectly.
By the time you’re done with this quick guide you’ll know exactly what you have to do to make the most of post workout nutrition.
Let’s dig right in!
Anyone serious about transforming their body understands that the time you spend working out and pushing past your physical limitations is only a small piece of the puzzle.
When you work out you are simply creating micro-injuries to all of the major muscle groups you were exercising. This puts quite a bit of stress on your body and your central nervous system, and the body reacts automatically by releasing hormones and demanding nutrients that work to repair the injuries, make you stronger, and melt fat for extra energy.
This recovery time is when your biggest transformations are going to happen. This is why you need to nail your post workout nutrition, as this initial blast of “fuel” is going to dictate just how quickly and efficiently you’re able to recover.
Fabulous foods to add to your post workout routine
If you want to knock your post nutrition right out of the park you need to flood your body with two essential macronutrients:
- Proteins that can be rapidly digested, pushed into the bloodstream, and shuttled to the muscles that need these muscle building blocks most and
- Simple carbohydrates that can be immediately utilized as energy to fuel your recovery when you are physically taxed the most
This is why protein shakes are so popular.
They combine a rapidly digestible source of protein (usually in the form of whey protein, and at least 20 g of it or so in every scoop) with a simple carbohydrate – usually in the form of a fruit like bananas or strawberries, but sometimes even just a single scoop of sugar will do the trick – to give your body everything it needs to jump start recovery in a hurry.
That these protein shakes should be consumed up to 30 minutes after your workout, but ideally they’ll be consumed about 10 or 15 minutes BEFORE you’re done exercising. After all, you want to give your body time to digest the fuel that you are providing it.
The sooner you can get one of these protein shakes into your body, the better off you’re going to be.
At the same time, you’ll want to be sure that you don’t stop focusing on your post workout nutrition when you have downed a protein shake. The first meal that you eat after your workout is also going to be of critical importance.
You’ll want to push more protein into your body (which is why the old “steak and eggs” post workout meal is still so popular), but you’ll also want to switch your focus from simple carbohydrates that can be used by the body almost immediately to complex carbohydrates like breads and pastas.
Complex carbohydrates release their energy stores much slower than simple carbohydrates, which means that they will fuel your body while you sleep. They also keep your insulin and blood sugar levels more even, stopping your body from transforming these sugars into fat cells for storage later down the line.
Chicken dishes with pasta on the side, steak and eggs, and fish with bread and fibrous vegetables are all great choices for those looking to maximize their post workout nutrition meals.