Post-Workout Nutrition

Post-Workout Nutritionprotein breakdown

by Hanna Golom

The Importance of When and What You Eat After Exercise

Post-workout nutrition requires two things:
– Protein to aid in protein synthesis (the construction of new proteins)
– Carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen (storage form of glucose, or sugar)

First off, let”™s break down the three sources of energy into substrates:
– Carbohydrates ”“ glucose
– Fat ”“ fatty acids
– Protein ”“ amino acids

By consuming these nutrients post-workout, recovery is improved. Other benefits include a decrease in muscle soreness and an increase in the ability to utilize body fat.

The window of time to consume a post-workout meal opens immediately after your workout and closes about two hours later – don”™t delay!!

When we exercise, our tissues are essentially incurring damage. When we think about damage we think, “Oh crap. Why would I do that to my body?” Exercising is how we become stronger and better at our everyday lives, but we need to repair and replenish it with fuel (a.k.a. protein and carbohydrates). Breakdown is not a bad thing, but when you do not replenish the muscle with proteins, the result is a loss of muscle. When the body synthesizes more protein molecules than it lost during a workout, then hypertrophy (muscle growth) takes place.

So now on to the bigger question: “What do I eat post workout?”

**Data indicates that it may only take about 20 grams of protein after a workout to maximally stimulate protein synthesis.

I am sure you have heard about chocolate milk being the best post-workout drink. I tend to agree with this for many reasons. It is a favorable mix of carbohydrates and proteins, which makes it a great choice after a sweat sesh. Milk also contains a sufficient supply of electrolytes, which we lose during exercise.

Another good example of a post-workout meal is non-fat Greek yogurt with fruit. Greek yogurt is packed with protein, which aids in quickly assisting muscle repair.

While I will not promote supplements, I will say that refueling with a liquid form of nutrition is a good way to replenish glycogen and protein stores since liquids digest quickly to promote repair!

If you are just taking a light walk around the block, then do not stress about your post-workout meal/snack. Save that for weightlifting or endurance exercises.

One more thought on post-workout nutrition: we all have different body types with a different DNA, different body composition, different hormones, and so on. What works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa. We are all also exercising for different reasons whether that be bodybuilding, general health, or weight loss.

The most important aspect of post-workout nutrition is consume a nutrient dense snack/meal after your workout and let your body take care of the repairs it so desperately needs to accomplish.

Live everyday to be the best you possible!

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