3 Major Post-Workout Nutrition Tips for 2017
I should say first and foremost that I don’t believe in one size fits all recommendations. I do think that there are certain principles that apply to most people, but certainly there aren’t perfect recommendations. The most important thing is that you experiment and educate yourself on what works for you and your specific goals.
When I talk about post-workout nutrition I’m usually referring to upwards of 2 hours post workout.
In general, the following 3 principles are appropriate for most athletes:
- Include your largest intake of carbohydrates of the day after your workout. The reason for this, especially if you’ve done high intensity interval training or intense strength sessions, is because after you exercise you become very sensitive to insulin, therefore to carb metabolism and replenishing glycogen. This will ensure maximal recovery so you can train again sooner rather than later. If you overload carbs at any other time during the day you are less likely to use them as fuel and more likely to store them as fat. This is especially true if you are consuming quickly digestible carbs like rice cakes or bananas. What I have found is that this principle is especially important for those who are trying to cut body fat or trying to lose weight
- If you are choosing to include a liquid meal in your day this is the best time to do it. After you train, most individuals find that consuming a meal with dense protein like meat or eggs is difficult due to suppression of digestive functions during training. The solution to this is one of my favorite go-to supplements called whey protein. Whey is easy to digest for most people and it contains all essential amino acids necessary for muscle repair. If you choose whey protein though, make sure it is free of harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, ideally from grass-fed milk, and free of any soy fillers.
- Do not include any additional fats in your post-workout meal. This includes any nut butters, coconut or MCT oil, avocado, etc. The reason for this is that it will slow digestion and fail to give you the desired hormone response to the carbs and protein that you consume. Ideal places for your fats are first thing in the morning, or in your last meal of the day.
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