We’ve all been there. You’ve finished a grueling workout, you’re starving, and you want to eat, but you just don’t know what you should have to ensure all your hard work didn’t go to waste.
Make no mistake, what you eat following exercise can have a significant impact on your results. After a workout, your body is in a state needing nutrients. It has spent a good deal of its stored fuels and in most cases sustained damage to its muscle fibers. The good news is that this presents a window of opportunity for building muscle and burning fat. By consuming the proper ratio of nutrients during this time, not only do you initiate the rebuilding of damaged tissue and energy reserves, but also considerable improvements to body composition and exercise performance.
One of the primary goals post-workout nutrition is to replenish glycogen. Glucose is depleted during training, your muscles and liver are starved of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates post workout are best taken in liquid form and should come from pure, high-glycemic sources. A combination of glucose and fructose is ideal, here. Yup! If those two sound familiar it’s because they are simple sugars found in things like juice. If you are in a rush running out of the gym, a simple 1/2 cup of cranberry juice will be sufficient, but a better choice would be an actual piece of your favorite fruit.
The other central piece of post-workout nutrition to supply enough protein for tissue repair. Protein should preferably be in the form of high-quality and fast acting protein powder. The idea is to fill your muscles with amino acids, which will facilitate recovery. With this in mind combining your favorite piece of fruit with a fast acting whey protein is the perfect combination of recovery, tissue repair, and of course burning fat!
You can quickly turn your post workout nutrition into a protein shake. Combine your favorite fruit with your protein powder and turn it into a shake. Get creative! Try different combinations of fruit along with different flavors of protein powder and find what tastes best for you.
There are many different types of protein powders on the market, but a good place to start if you never had a protein shake before is a standard whey protein that can be bought anywhere. As you progress, venture out and try other protein powders. Find the brand and taste that works best for you and don’t be afraid to try more natural products. Be warned though, going down the natural route the taste isn’t as good as standard whey. The more natural, the less artificial flavoring and sweeteners are put in.