Post Workout Nutrition


One of the most overlooked parts of nutrition is during and post workout nutrition. Along with breakfast, these meals are the most important meals of the day. In a nutshell, during strength, power and endurance training, our glycogen stores are low, our cortisol levels raise, and our muscle protein balance is negative. In order to prevent this downward spiral from occurring, our post workout meal must do 3 things.

-Raise glycogen stores
-Increase protein synthesis
-Decrease protein breakdown

After training, there is a “window of opportunity” that allows our bodies to achieve these 3 goals and put our bodies in an anabolic state. While conflicting data has shown that this window can last anywhere from 30-45 minutes, the best idea is to consume this meal as soon as possible. The sooner you have this meal, the faster your body can start the recovery process. Additionally, the best type of meal to have during this time is liquid. By consuming a liquid meal during this time, the nutrients will get into the bloodstream faster and optimize the process. Please not that I do not recommend many supplements, however post workout supplementation is critical to seeing results in the weight room.

What type of shake should you consume?
Before I get into specific supplement brands, let’s understand exactly what type of carbohydrates and protein is optimal during this time. During the “window of opportunity”, the best type of carbohydrates and proteins to consume are fast digesting ones. Simple sugars such as a dextrose and a maltodextrin combination, or waximaize are optimal for carb intake. Whey protein high in BCAAs are the post effective protein during this time. Supplementing with 3-5grams of creatine during this time will also aid in recovery and performance.

How much to take?
In order to determine how many carbs and protein you should take in during and post workout, you must determine what your goal is.

Strength athletes looking to increase muscle mass:

Carbs-0.8 KG of bodyweight

Protein-0.4 KG of bodyweight

Example: 200 lb male athlete looking to increase muscle mass should consume 73 grams of carbs and 36 grams of protein during the post workout window.

Strength Athletes looking to decrease body fat while maintaining muscle mass

Carbs-0.4 KG of bodyweight

Protein-0.2 KG of bodyweight

Example: 200 lb male athlete looking to decrease body fat should consume 36 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein during the post workout window.

*These recommendations are cited from John Berardi’s article that can be found here. I can’t emphasis enough how important nutrition is during and post workout. In conclusion, you should consume two identical shakes. Sip on one during your training session and sip on the other one immediately after your training session. Those athletes looking to increase muscle mass, should consume a meal (whole foods) with the same macronutrient breakdown 1 hour later. Those looking to decrease body fat, should consume a meal with the same macronutrient breakdown 2-3 hours later.
Lastly, to make your life easier, I will recommend 2 different supplements that have will take care of your during and post workout nutrition. Keep in mind that I would never recommend anything that I have never used personally.

Advocare Post Workout Recovery
-Biotest Workout Recovery

When it comes to supplements, there are only a few companies that are legit. Remember that the supplement business is a BILLION dollar industry and every company is in it to make money. Please consult someone like myself before you buy any supplements.

Lift strong,

Joe Meglio
Performance Enhancement Coach

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