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Quick Guide to Post-workout Nutrition

True Protein Blogger 1 by Monique SC 20 February 2017

A snapshot to understanding what it takes to refuel your body after a workout

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Quick Guide to Post-workout Nutrition

Ever worked up an appetite after an intense workout and been left unsure what to eat immediately post-workout? We’ve all been there. This article will help you bypass the lengthy trial and error stage by guiding you through the best post-workout foods. By consuming the right nutrients post-workout, you can improve your body composition, performance, and overall recovery.

Spending time in the gym’s the easy part. What we eat outside the gym is what counts the most, especially when it comes to post-workout meals. Ignoring the importance of proper nutrition is a sure way to negate your health and fitness goals. Depending on our activity levels, our bodies deal with nutrients differently at different times throughout the day. The food we consume before, during, and especially after going to the gym is important for different reasons at these different stages.

 

Why is post-workout nutrition important?

In order to work out why we need post-working nutrition, we must first understand what exercise does to our body. Working out ultimately damages our muscle tissues (so they grow back stronger) and uses our muscle fuel for energy. Whilst working out our damaged muscle proteins are broken down (protein breakdown) and we rebuild new ones (protein synthesis) – this is the process of building muscle.

Exercising also results in lost fluid. It is important to drink water before, during and after exercise in order to prevent dehydration.

 In order to work out, our body also needs fuel, of which the body’s main source is glycogen which is the storage form of glucose and carbohydrates. Exercise depletes our glycogen stores which means we need to replenish them somehow, and this is where post-workout nutrition comes in.

Post-workout nutrition has three main purposes;

  1. Replenish glycogen to replenish your energy stores.

  2. Decrease protein breakdown by increasing muscle size and quality.

  3. Increase the rate of protein synthesis which repairs any damage to the muscles caused by the workout.

Let’s delve into the macronutrients that we need for effective post-workout nutrition.

Protein

As stated before, protein is required due to the effect that exercise has on our muscles. In order for our muscles to be repaired and rebuilt, protein must be consumed following a workout. It also provides you with the building blocks to build new muscle tissue.

It is recommended that you consume between 0.3 and 0.5 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight following exercise. For a 65kg individual, this means they should have a post workout snack or meal containing between 19.5 and 32.5 grams of protein. It is recommended that protein is consumed within 15-60 minutes following exercise.

So what makes a good high protein post-workout snack?

Protein Shake or Smoothie – A protein shake is a quick and easy way to get that protein in. One scoop of True Protein’s WPI90 provides you with 25 grams of protein which will have you hitting or close to hitting your post-workout protein target.

If protein powders aren’t your thing here are some other high protein foods that you can have post-workout.

Food

Protein

Calories

1 Egg

6g

78

100g Chicken Breast

31g

165

100g Greek Yogurt

10g

59

85g Lean Beef

25g

186

100g Salmon

22g

206

1 cup Lentils

17g

230

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the other macronutrient essential for after your workout. Glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and so, afterwards they need replenishing. It can be beneficial to consume high GI carbs following exercise as these are released quickly, providing your muscles with glucose more rapidly. Low GI carbohydrates are also effective in recovery, they are just released more slowly and provide more long-lasting energy.

Carbohydrates should be consumed anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours post-workout. In terms of the amount of carbohydrates, you should have 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight following a workout.

Some examples of foods that will replenish your body’s carbohydrates are:

Food

Carbohydrates

Calories

100g White Rice

28g

130

100g Pasta

25g

131

True Protein All-In-One

33g

200

100g Banana

23g

89

 

Full post-workout meal

While you can eat high protein and high carb foods individually, it makes it much easier to reach your macro target by incorporating both protein and carbohydrates into 1 meal. Following the recommended 0.5g of protein and 1.5g of carbohydrates, a post-workout meal looks like this:

Example

Protein

Carbs

65kg Woman

120g Chicken Breast

1 Cup Brown Rice & 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

80kg Man

150g Chicken Breast

1 Cup Brown Rice & 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes

 

The True Protein All-In-One and POST Workout Blend are 2 more quick and easy ways to get an adequate amount of both protein and carbohydrates.

    • One 60g serving of All-In-One will provide you with 25g of protein and 20g of carbohydrates.

    • One serving of the POST Workout Blend will provide you with 28g of protein, and 31g of high GI carbs

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure to stay hydrated and to replace the water that was lost during your workout.

  • Consuming the right amount of carbs and protein after exercise is essential. It’s recommended that to eat 0.5 grams of protein per your weight (in kilograms), and 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per you weight (in kilograms) after training.

  • If you don’t have time to consume a post-workout meal, try supplementing. One serving of a True protein All-In-One shake contains around 25 grams of protein and 20g of carbs, making it a great way to begin your recovery no matter where you are

 

References

  1. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Kerksick C1, et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Oct 3;5:17. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-5-17.

 

 

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: all content provided here is of a general nature only and is not a substitute for individualised professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and reliance should not be placed on it. For personalised medical or nutrition advice, please make an appointment with your doctor, dietitian or qualified health care professional.

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