Archive for the tag - post workout meal

6 Do’s and Don’ts of Post-Workout Nutrition!

post-workout-supplementationWhat you eat after the gym is arguably the most crucial meal of the day. After working out, it’s important to consume the right foods to help your body replenish, repair and rebuild. Doing so will maximize your results.

Here are 6 key do’s and don’ts.

  1. Do take whey protein. Strength training breaks down your muscle fibers. Supplementing with protein gives your body what it needs to rebuild your muscles stronger than before. Whey protein is absorbed quickly by your body (unlike slower proteins like soy, hemp or casein) and so they are the best post-workout choice.
  2. Don’t eat fat - even healthy fats. Because time is of the essence, you don’t want to eat anything that will slow down the absorption of key nutrients. Fat (even good, heart-healthy fat) will slow down digestion, so it’s important to opt for food options without much fat content.
  3. Do consume simple carbohydrates. When taken after a workout, carbohydrates restore muscle glycogen. And if you don’t eat carbs in your post-workout recovery meal, your body may actually breakdown existing muscle for this very same purpose. This is really the only time when simple carbohydrates (a.k.a. the bad carbs like those found in many cereals and fruit juices) are advisable.
  4. Don’t eat foods with lots of fiber. Like fat, fiber slows down the digestion of food. While fiber is an extremely important part of your overall meal plan (especially for people looking to lose weight as it make you feel full), a post-workout meal isn’t the time to include it.
  5. Do favor liquid meals over solid foods. Solid foods are great, nutritious and delicious, but a solid meal tends to be absorbed slowly. Sure, a plate of chicken and potatoes has lots of protein and carbs - but it’s not going to be absorbed as quickly as a shake.
  6. Don’t wait! Did I mention that time is of the essence? Experts agree that sooner is better. If you can, bring your post-workout meal to the gym so that you can consume it immediately after exercising. Don’t let your window of opportunity close!

So, what are some easy suggestions to eat after exercising? I generally opt for a whey protein shake and a banana. You’ll get protein and carbs without fat or much fiber. Acia bowls are another great option. Alternatively, you could mix whey protein powder and dextrose into a post-workout recovery shake.

Share some of your favorite post-workout tips below in the comments below. I look forward to reading them!

Shocking But True: Your Body Needs Carbs After Exercising.

You know that it takes protein to build muscles like these - but did you know it takes carbs, too?

Yes, I said the dreaded c-word. I know what you’re thinking: “Carbs are bad! Carbs are terrible! Get that Kool-Aid away from me!” But hear me out.

Many people adhere to low-carb diets to maintain a lean build. And it works. Low-carb diets can be extremely effective. Even so, there is one time when all people need to consume carbohydrates - and that is after a workout.

After a workout, most fitness enthusiasts know they need protein to rebuild and repair their muscles. As such, there’s a full spectrum of quality protein powders available. But marketers are savvy. Realizing the bad rap that carbohydrates get, most of these protein powders pride themselves on being low-carb or carb-free. While this might seem like a great selling point, it flies in the face of science and post-workout research.

When taken after a workout, carbohydrates restore muscle glycogen. And if you don’t eat carbs in your post-workout recovery meal, your body may actually break down muscle for this very same purpose. Uh-oh.

After you finish exercising, your body needs carbs - and it needs them fast. Simple carbohydrates, like the ones you might usually avoid any other time in the day, are absorbed quickest by the body, and thus they’re the ideal candidate. 40 - 70 grams of carbohydrates usually do the trick, which is basically a bottle of Vitamin Water. Nothing too crazy, though some trainers might advise upwards of 120 grams.

Here’s the bottom line: After you exercise, take a protein shake. And, in the likely event that your protein shake doesn’t provide enough carbs, grab a quick sugary drink or even a dextrose supplement. Yes, Davey Wavey just told you to drink a sugary drink. I promise, this is the only time!