What to eat after a workout- Post Workout Food timing explained
You have been working out hard in the gym and not showing the desired progress. You don`t want your sweat to go waste and not getting results even after such an extreme workout. The thing to consider here is your Post Workout Meal. There is a chance that you are not eating right and do not know exactly what to eat after a workout?
You are letting your the results go away if you don`t know about what to eat after a workout?. In order to achieve good results and optimal recovery, you need to take your Post Workout nutrition seriously. You should know exactly on what to eat after a workout.
A thing to mention here is you cannot go crazy with your post workout meal and cannot eat anything you like. The Best post workout meal includes calculated amount of macro nutrients. According to the Manuel Villacorta, RD, of the American Dietetic Association, your body craves for two major nutrients namely the carbohydrates and the protein after a workout. The Post Workout snack provides you with quick recovery and replenishes the depleted glycogen stores.
Why Post Workout Meal is Important?
When you workout, your body burns fuel. The fuel is made from the food you eat before your workout and from the glycogen stored in your body. In order to aim for optimal recovery, the depleted glycogen stores have to be replenished as fast as possible. This is the sole reason on why the post workout meal is important. And you should know what to eat after a workout? In order to make you understand it better. We are taking the Post Workout Anabolic Window into play.
The Anabolic Window is the time when your blood is circulating faster after a workout. And if you provide your body with the right fuel during this anabolic window. You can effectively refuel your muscle`s depleted glycogen stores. The anabolic window stays for 30-45 minutes after a workout. Knowing on what to eat after a workout can help your body to stay in an anabolic state for long. The anabolic state is where your body obtains energy to perform its important functions. Consuming proper nutrients during the anabolic window not only helps in the repair of damaged muscle tissue but also enhances your athletic performance and improves your overall body composition.
Learning on the importance of the nutrient timing and the right post workout meal. We will further include the information on what should a post workout meal consist of? And will discuss on what to eat after a workout?
What should your post workout meal consist of?
A best post workout meal contains the balanced amounts of Protein and Carbohydrates. You can only aim quick recovery, if you know what to eat after a workout. We have heard people talking about their progress. Even after working so hard, they are not able to achieve a good shape.
The thing to keep in mind is that you need to take your nutrition seriously. A best post workout meal can only work, if the nutrient timing after the workout is correct. An extreme workout paired with a good nutrition is the secret of the well condition athlete. So, you need to understand on how important it is to include these two macronutrients in a post workout snack.
Eat Protein after workout
Inclusion of protein after workout is an ideal step considering your post workout recovery. You have seen a lot of people in the gym who are sipping on their post workout protein shake immediately after completing their workout. So why should you include the protein after workout?
Read: Secrets on why Athletes drink whey protein shake immediately after their workout?
If we go with science, you may heard about the wear and tears occurred in your muscles during a workout. When you workout, your muscles are always under the pressure to perform. This continuous pressure leads to the breakdown of your muscle fibres. Our body has a tendency to heal itself which also occurs in this process.
Post Workout Protein Timing
After your workout, your body switches to muscle repair which is often known as muscle protein synthesis. For the process of muscle protein synthesis, your body needs amino which it derives by breakdown of protein you ingest.
So it becomes ardent that you drink whey protein shake just after you finish your workout. This ingested protein normally reaches to your muscles within 30 minutes. Whey Protein is a fast acting protein that people can digest easily in less time. So, include the whey protein in your post workout snack and it will serve you with optimum recovery.
A thing to note here is that not all the whey proteins have same absorption rate (Biological Value). So it becomes important to consider few factors before buying yourself a whey protein powder.
Eat carbohydrates after workout
The Carbohydrates in the workout meals is primarily needed for replenishing the glycogen stores of the body. As we have already learned above that the glycogen is used up during a workout. And in order to aim for recovery, you need to refill your glycogen stores as soon as possible. To make the ends meet, the simple carbohydrates come as a savior. The simple carbohydrates are the fast digesting carbohydrates having a high glycemic index.
Include the simple carbohydrates in your post workout carbs to replenish your glycogen stores fast and effectively. Aim for the simple carbohydrates that have glycemic index 70 or above.
Eating simple carbohydrates after a workout promotes both the growth and the nutrient uptake by the muscle. It has been researched that the glycogen in your body depletes by 30%-40% during a typical 15-30 minute workout comprised of 6-20 sets. What to eat after a workout also include you to understand the concept of Insulin Spike in the body.
Understanding the occurrence of Insulin Spike by post workout Carbohydrates
Including the carbohydrates in a post workout meal spikes the production of insulin in the body. The insulin is an important anabolic hormone. It is responsible for supplying important nutrients from the blood cells to the muscle. The required nutrients for post workout recovery are the glucose and the amino acids. The muscles require these nutrients to initiate the process of muscle protein synthesis. So, it becomes important to eat carbohydrates soon after your workout. And delaying which can cause the reduction in glycogen replenishment.
We have heard people saying that eating the carbohydrates immediately after workout is not the best practice. It can mess up with the production of Growth hormone. The Growth Hormone is the most important hormone responsible for the growth of muscle tissue. So whether you should eat carbohydrates after workout? Let us bring it to light.
Carbohydrate Post Workout Timing
Eating simple carbohydrates spike insulin. And the production of insulin is inversely related to the Growth Hormone production. Then eating the carbohydrates after workout will surely mess with your GH production. But there is another thing to mention here. The production of GH will get lowered automatically after your workout. The level reaches to baseline within 20 minutes of completing the workout. You are good to go with carbohydrates after those 20 minutes.
How to plan your post workout meal- Combining the macronutrients
A good post workout meal should contain both the protein and the carbohydrates in the specific ratio. The ratio is often known as Carb to Protein Ratio in Post Workout Meal planning. Generally, the carb to protein ratio ranges between 3 or 4:1. That means you have to ingest 3 times or 4 times the carbohydrates then the amount of protein after the workout.
However, the exact amount of proteins and carbohydrates varies for every individual. According to Debra Wein, an expert in the field of health and wellness, consuming the right amounts of carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes can help in maximising muscle protein synthesis and decrease in muscle breakdown. She further recommended that one should go by 4:1 Carb to Protein Ratio to avail the post workout meal benefits.
How much Post Workout Nutrition you need after workout?
You might have understand on the importance of post workout nutrition for an effective recovery. You surely has got the idea on what to eat after a workout. But the information on post workout meal will still remain incomplete if we don`t talk about how much of these nutrients to consume after workout? Let us now discuss on how much protein after workout? And how much carbs to take in a post workout meal?
- The requirement of protein and carbohydrates vary according to an individual based upon his goal.
- According to National Strength and Conditioning Association, the need of protein after workout can range from 1.5 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight in a day. However, the amount of protein required by a person having 75 Kg weight may vary from another person with same weight. It totally depends upon his goal, intensity of training, and carbohydrate intake.
- If you are a 75 Kg athlete for instance and eating six meals a day, you can eat around 25 grams of protein after workout and around 60 grams of simple carbohydrates to fuel your depleted glycogen stores.
- Also, there is a limit for every individual to digest an amount of protein in a given time. So keep in mind, never to overdo things.
Don`t fall for these Post Workout nutrition mistakes
If you are concerned with post workout recovery and doesn`t want your best post workout meal to go waste. Ensure that you are not making these mistakes and follow the below mentioned advice for your post workout recovery.
- You should not consume your whey protein with milk. It will slow down the absorption rate your protein and your dreams for quick recovery will go in air.
- Never to eat Fats (Healthy Fats) during your Post Workout meals. The Fats take time to breakdown and can interfere with other required nutrient absorption timing.
- It is advisable to have only Post Workout Shakes rather than solid meals. The Post Workout Shakes are in liquid form. Our body can breakdown the food in liquid form faster than the food in solid form.
Author: Mannu Jain
Mannu Jain is an Entrepreneur by choice who has started Supplements Town in the year 2013. He has spent his precious years in the health and Fitness Industry which have incorporated him with lots of information and knowledge from the industry leaders and the consumers. Keeping up his former interest of blogging, he has put forward this health and fitness website to share his learning with the world to keep them both healthy and fit.