Proper Post-Workout Nutrition

By Doug Corbett (NASM, PES, FMS, CET)

The following is an article written by Doug Corbett about proper post-workout nutrition.  Doug has been working at RPP since September of 2011 and has played a big role in speaking not only with athletes about their nutrition, but our adult clientele as well.

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Over the years, many of my clients have asked me about what to eat after a workout to optimize your metabolism and increase lean  muscle mass.  Here’s a quick summary of what a proper post-workout nutrition should entail:

1) Post-Workout Means Post-Workout – There are 2 parts to post-workout nutrition; the shake and the meal. The timing of your shake should be within 15 minutes after finishing your workout.  The second part is to eat a meal about 90 minutes after your workout.

2) Timing – The importance of the shake immediately after the workout cannot be stressed enough.  If you “do not have enough time” to make a shake then you must be creative and find time.  For example, while making dinner throw your post-workout shake for the next day in the blender, refrigerator it and carry it with you to the gym.

3) Essential For Results – Do not fear the extra calories the post workout shake and meal will be putting into your day.  A calorie is not just a calorie; a calorie is a variable and how that calorie is used by the body has to do with the timing of energy expenditure.  The calories consumed post workout will help to replenish glycogen (long-term energy storage) levels in the cells, increase lean muscle growth, burn fat, boost strength, increase endurance and improve mental clarity throughout the day.

4) Consistency – A simple key to results is consistency.  It’s simple but consistently consuming this after every workout will boost results.

5) Post-Workout Shake – The shake should consist of two parts: fast acting carbohydrates and fast acting protein.  Fast acting carbohydrates means sugar (fruit, agave, honey) and fast acting protein is whey protein.  There should be a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein.  If your shake does not have a 2:1 ratio, then a great addition is to have ¼ of raisins post-workout.  That amount provides around 30g of carbs.

6) Requirements Of The Shake – Women should be consuming 30-40g of carbs and 15-20g of protein post workout.  Men should be consuming 60-80g of carbs and 30-40g of protein.

7) Post-Workout Meal – Make sure the meal you consume 90 minutes after the workout contains vegetables, nuts, lean protein, and a starchier carb such as quinoa, yams, or wild rice.

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