As I described in the previous article I hope you are beginning to understand why your post workout nutrition is so important. In part 2 of this article I hope to make some clarifications so that you can ensure that you are being the most effective with your post workout nutrition.
I know I need carbs and proteins after a workout, but what about fats? Fats are a very important part of the diet and you should aim for a good mix of saturated and unsaturated fats throughout your day. However, after your workout we should avoid consuming fats in the diet. Eating fat after your workout may slow down the digestion and absorption of carbs and proteins. We should avoid fats during this time and incorporate them within the various other meals throughout our day.
How should I consume my carbs and protein after my work out? Preferably in liquid form. We are looking for the best way to have maximal absorption into the body. Food sources are another option, but we are delayed by the digestion process. The delivery to the muscles is just too slow. Choose a liquid source if you can such as 1 part Gatorade, juice, or other simple carbohydrate liquid, followed by 1 part whey protein isolate. Mix and you have yourself a solid post workout shake.
How soon after my workout should I consume my post workout nutrition? As soon as possible. Studies show that consuming immediately is superior to consuming 1 hour after. Also, consuming one hour after is superior to 3 hours after. There is a short window of time where your body is primed to accept these nutrients. Some studies even show that you should start consuming your nutrition during or before the end of your workout so that you don’t miss out on this important window where your body will utilize the nutrients in the most effective manner.
So what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that if you are not taking advantage of the post workout nutrition benefits you are missing out on maximizing your health and fitness goals. Your goal with any fitness program should be to maximize your results in the time you have allotted. Remember that the workout is just the physical stimulus designed to break down your muscle for repair. If you do not provide the necessary materials for the muscle to repair itself after your workouts then you are doing yourself a disservice.
I hope you enjoyed this 2 part series on post workout nutrition.