To an athlete or someone who is into nutrition and fitness, probably the most important meal of the day is the post workout meal. This importance sometimes leads to confusion. Maybe it’s because of the available shakes around and how to fit them with your diet. Or maybe the lack of information whether you should take anything at all after workout. Whatever it is, it confuses people.
The post workout meal need not be complicated. In fact, it can become the simplest meal of the day. It can even be a quick meal. The truth is, you only need to understand what your body needs or doesn’t need and where to get this nutrition.
What you should or should not take after workout?
Aside from water (which you should take), the after workout meal should contain two things and should not contain. 1. You should be eating proteins and carbs. And you should not be eating fats.
There are good and bad fats. Whether it is bad or good fat, the post workout is not the time to take them. Fat slows down digestion. And so, it will be slowing the digestion of proteins and carbs. So three questions may have to be asked:
1. How soon should I eat it?
2. How much of protein and carb should I eat?
3. What foods should the protein and carbs be coming from?
To the first question, you should eat this meal within the hour or 30 minutes is better. To the second question, since time of the essence, long-digesting foods like, whole foods like egg whites, chicken and tuna fish take a long time before it can be used by the body and thus they are not the most ideal food after a workout. A whey protein powder will be digested by your body quicker than a whole food. Mixed with some type of liquid, a whey protein shake will be digested by your body quicker than a whole food because it will be liquid. Whey protein is the fastest digesting protein there is.
As for how much, try to consume between 0.15 to 0.25 grams of protein per pound of your body of your body weight (so a 175 lb person should eat between 26 to 43 grams at this time. Now since, the post workout meal is all about speed, ergo simple carbs are better than complex carbs. To answer the third question, a flood like a baked potato is a good choice for a carb source post workout. It may be a whole food but this is where dextrose comes in. It is not a supplement but it is a type of sugar which should be taken post workout. Most people (athletes, etc) should look to consume between 0.25 to 0.4 grams of carbs per pound of their body. Thus a 175 lb person should take between 40 to 70 grams.
So bring a shaker bottle, add water to the whey powder and shake it well on your way to the gym.
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