Where it’s super important to put maximum effort into every one of your workouts, making them count…never forget that what you do OUTSIDE of the gym is where you’ll see all the difference. Recovery is just as (if not more) important than the workouts themselves..not just learning when to rest and when to taper off, but your nutrition too plays a vital role. Here we go over a few different easy-to-understand post workout nutrition strategies, giving pro’s and cons for them.
Whey protein shake by itself directly after training.
Pro’s: Fast acting protein to aid recovery, repair & growth, good for weight loss as low carb
Con’s: No carbs so no glycogen replenishment (burned off energy is not replenished)
Whey protein shake and carbohydrates directly after training.
Pro’s: Body deals well with carbs after workouts, glycogen restored, protein aids recovery & growth, good for muscle building
Con’s: Carbs work best for long enduring workouts (depleted glycogen stores) and can lead to some fat storage if your carb consumption is too high or the workout duration doesn’t need the amount of carbs you’ve ingested
Protein source/Carb source meal straight after training.
Pro’s: Good whole food trumps protein shakes, more micronutrients.
Con’s: You may be having slow release carbs instead of simple ones that replenish your glycogen quicker. Whole protein sources take longer to digest than whey protein so you may lose the benefit of quick acting protein during the ‘anabolic window’
Fasting for 1–3 hours after a workout.
Pro’s: Good for fat loss/muscle building due to insulin not being spiked so a subsequent rise in human growth hormone (HGH) is released
Con’s: Not good for workouts longer than 1 hour, can leave you lethargic & drained, no glycogen replenishment
So what should you be doing?
The post-workout period is often considered the most critical part of nutrient timing, and the “anabolic window” is a term that generally represents the 30-60 minutes after exercise that is suggested to be the optimal time to enhance your muscule building and recovery.
To maximize potential benefits, try combining carbs with a protein source that provides 0.2-0.3 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. Sweet potatoes, grains, and fruits can contain high levels of healthful carbohydrates, as can quinoa.
If your workouts are only small and very low intensity then you can probably suffice with a simple whey protein shake post-workout, or even try fasting for a further few hours before having a balanced meal. You’ll probably find that this method also helps to reduce your overall daily carb intake so therefore benefits people looking to lose weight on a lower carb diet.
Treat nutrition the same as your workouts…everyone is different and you’ll have to go through some trial and error to figure out what works best for you personally!
Experience faster gains and unstoppable progress.
Save time structuring your own routines and avoid making mistakes with your workouts. With exercise tracking, progress monitoring and the ability to easily modify existing workouts. Gym Plan app is your dedicated professional fitness companion, motivating you to crush your goals and achieve more than you thought possible. Start training with us today now and unlock a fitter, stronger and way healthier you!