Post Work-Out Nutrition

By: Michael Simmer BS, CSCS, LMT, FST-1, TPI-1

Have you ever been through a hard workout or a hard endurance activity and felt that shaky feeling maybe you even felt a little bit dizzy or nauseous, well that is your body telling you it needs fuel. When we go through any type of exercise routine we are breaking down our muscles, we are essentially causing small muscles tears to occur throughout the body and then we use proper rest and recovery methods to allow our muscles to repair themselves and get stronger, and then start the process again and again.  Our bodies need proper nutrition throughout the day to help aid in this recovery, but one part of this is often missed or under valued and that is what to do post workout, and that may be because after a hard workout the thought of eating sounds terrible or you just do not feel hungry, well your body is starving. Here are some basics when is comes to post workout nutrition.

Post Workout Needs

This is a topic that has been studied and debated for years, and it will probably continue to be so for many more years, and there are always those who believe they have discovered the perfect formula of natural based bee extract lavender oil meditated whey grass feed charcoal that 60% of the time it works every time. Listen there is no one grand solution that will work for everyone since all of us are different in what we can handle and what we have at our disposal. There are a few things however that are widely accepted when it comes to post workout meals. The first of which is a breakdown of our macronutrients in a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Countless studies have shown this breakdown of macronutrients to be the most effective formula for helping your body to recover, where those nutrients come from can vary from limitless sources. The other most accepted portion is the timing of your post workout meal, it is considered optimal to have your post work out meal within 20 minutes of finishing your work out, which is why protein shakes have become increasingly popular has a post workout meal, but when having a protein shake it is important to keep in mind the ratio breakdown again aiming for that 3:1 ratio and making sure there are no other additives like extra sugar or sweeteners contained in them. This was one of the big factors we considered when we switched our own protein for our smoothie bar, we wanted to be sure that all the proper nutrients and the ratios lined up with what the science shows. Again when we are talking about the purpose of a post work-out snack or meal, we are looking to aid our bodies and specifically the ability to replenish our glycogen stores, which helps restore our energy, we want to decrease the breakdown of muscle tissue, which will help to increase size and strength of the muscle tissue and lastly we want to increase our bodies ability to utilize protein which will help us repair and recover from our workout. So once more proper nutrition after a workout can help us recover reducing muscle soreness, it will provide us with more energy, and it will help our body breakdown fat while repairing and building muscle, in other words check, check and check.

Ok so why not just eat big meal chalked full of protein? Well honestly you could if you made sure all the ratios of the meal were correct then absolutely go for it, the problem tends to be two-fold, the first issue being that most of the time people will not have the ability to get a full course meal like that with in that 20-minute window. Availability is a key component of post workout nutrition, having the ability to quickly get the macro nutrients into our body post workout is considered similarly as important. Once our workout is over, we want to get those nutrients into our body as fast as possible to start the recovery and to get the most out of that window. The other issue with eating a full meal post workout is pretty simple, most of us just aren’t that hungry to sit down to a full meal, and most likely a meal that is going to be heavy and take a while for it to breakdown. The timing breakdown is another reason why protein shakes and smoothies are so popular in the fitness community, since liquids will breakdown much fast then whole foods, this allows us to get into repair and re build mode immediately post workout. Smoothies are great but again we need to be sure that the proper ratio is being adhered to and that no additional sugars find their way into the shakes. For these reasons and more is why we here at Pulse spent so much time ensuring that all the items we use our shakes have the correct ratio of 3:1 and the products do not contain additional sugars. Now go hit that workout hard and get your post workout nutrition game up to par.

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