Whether you lift weights, do CrossFit, run, bike, or anything else, post-workout nutrition is essential.
Two things are happening while you workout. For starters, your muscles experience a lot of trauma. Muscle growth is an adaptation of stress. They endure thousands of micro tears, hence the reason you’re sore. Second, you are depleting glycogen in your body.
Post-workout is the one time a supplement (i.e. a powder) is ideal over real food (i.e. a solid food) due to the speed of digestion. By consuming a protein source quickly this sparks the process of protein synthesis, which is the recovery of that muscle.
A powder protein will skip the process of digestion. As a result you will absorb it a lot faster, starting muscle recovery that much faster.
What Kind of Protein Should I Choose From For Post-Workout Nutrition?
You want an isolate protein. An isolate protein will be the most refined, broken down protein. Great for absorption. Fast digesting.
Protein will help with your recovery. Specifically the micro tears in your muscles that you endure during a workout.
Do you crave sweets at night? Try this quick recipe:
1. Make a cup of decaf coffee.
2. Add your favorite protein powder.
3. Use a milk frother to mix.
Have you ever felt shaky at the end of a workout? That’s due to being low on blood sugar. Your body lacking glycogen.
In addition to protein, you need a carb source, ideally a fast digesting carb.
Your muscles store carbohydrates inside of the muscle as glycogen. Glycogen is energy. When you workout your body is burning through the glycogen.
The carb source is restoring the glycogen in the muscle. Again, this is part of the process your muscles need to repair.
You want to look for a Dextros or Cluster Dextrin carb source. Here is one example of a carbohydrate source and what it does:
1st Phorm has a product called Ignition that can provide the post workout carbs your body is craving. When you look at the nutrition label on Ignition you’re going to see 46 grams of sugar. While that may scare you, 46 grams of sugar is good for spiking your insulin. That insulin spike is important for driving the amino acids from your protein into your muscle and replenishing your glycogen (i.e. an energy source).
It’s also important to note, there are different types of sugar. Some sugars are a disaccharide, like table sugar. Ignition is a monosaccharide; meaning it is a simpler form of sugar that will be absorbed quicker in your body.
Another perk with Ignition, it has a multi-vitamin. When you sweat you are depleting micronutrients from your body. The multi-vitamin will restore the nutrients you lost from your workout.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It is a non-essential amino acid, meaning it is already in our body. Your muscles are made up of approximately 60% Glutamine. This will help with muscle recovery, boosting your immune system, and growth hormone levels. When your body undergoes stress (physical or mental) your body uses Glutamine as energy.
Like I said in the beginning, the benefit of using a supplement after a workout is the fast digesting and quick absorption. Therefore, getting in your muscles sooner rather than later.
Mix in the following with 12 ounces of water…
- 1 – 2 scoops of Isolate Protein
- 1 scoop of a carb source (example: 1st Phorm Ignition)
- 1 scoop of Glutamine
Remember, rest and recovery are is just as important, if not more important, than your workout. When you’re working out you are breaking your muscles down. Your post-workout nutrition is key to helping your body recover properly. You will be fresh and ready to make progress the next time you’re in the gym.
Ever since I first started working out to get stronger for sports, I developed a passion for fitness and nutrition. Once I got to college I started studying exercise science and began to really understand how the mind and body work together synergistically. Once I gained more knowledge I began to help my friends and family with everything fitness related, but had a true passion for nutrition. Nothing makes me happier than helping people reach their goals. Seeing someone’s true happiness when start to lose weight they never thought possible, is an indescribable feeling. Now, I manage 20Twenty Nutrition in Ames, Iowa and get to do what I love every day, and that’s help people.