Post workout nutrition
What you eat is always important, however when you eat can be just as critical. I’m talking about post workout nutrient timing. WHEN TO EAT? WHAT TO EAT?
When you work your muscles, you are breaking down small fibers in your muscles and you are using a lot of energy stores. Energy stores are made up of carbohydrates and protein.
POSTWORKOUT NUTRITION HAS 3 PURPOSES
- REPLENISH GLYCOGEN….replace energy stores
- DECREASE PROTEIN BREAKDOWN…increase muscle quality or size
- INCREASE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS…repair and build damaged muscle
BENEFITS OF POSTWORKOUT NUTRITION
- IMPROVED RECOVERY
- LESS MUSCLE SORENESS, MAKING YOU READY FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
- INCREASED ABILITY TO BUILD MUSCLE TISSUE
- IMPROVED IMMUNE FUNCTION
- IMPROVED BONE MASS
- IMPROVED ABILITY TO UTILIZE BODY FAT
As you can see if you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs after your workouts then you are only hurting your progress in the long run. This is the time that your body is ready to accept the proteins and carbohydrates needed to grow.
Studies have shown that the Post workout meal should be eaten within 30-60 min after your training session for best results. Muscles only grow with the proper nutrition and recovery
Now the question of WHAT DO I EAT?
My answer is to keep this simple and not over think it.
Depending on the time of day you are training this might mean it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner If that is the case then eat a meal rich in carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and lean protein to assist in protein synthesis. Those are really the 2 things to think about.
Whole food meals are not always practical depending on your situation, in that case you have the option of liquid nutrition. Liquid nutrition like protein shake can actually digest faster and get to your cells quicker than a whole meal does because your body has to breakdown the food so digestion is a little slower.
Here are a few ideas to get you going
POST WORKOUT BREAKFAST
Protein burrito– eggs or tofu with ,salsa,peppers, spinach, onions,organic cheese all wrapped into a sprouted grain or corn tortilla. If you do not eat eggs or tofu you can replace with black beans or really any type of bean or tempeh etc. Add in as many vegetables as you want. Pair it up with a piece of fruit like a banana or an orange. Another great option is a bowl of oatmeal, quinoa or plain greek yogurt or plant based yogurt topped with fresh fruit and raw nuts. You can always add a scoop of protein to any of these which I really enjoy doing.
POST WORKOUT LUNCH OR DINNER
Mashed chickpea salad
- 1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped small
- 1/3 of a small apple, chopped small
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped small
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1/2 cup kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 2-3 heaping tablespoons of dijon, more as needed – I used a mix of spicy dijon with stone-ground
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- fresh juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- 1.5 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- sea salt salt and pepper, to taste
- In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas a few times until blended but the mixture still has chunks for texture. You can also mash them in a bowl with a potato masher.
- Transfer to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly until well combined. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
POST WORKOUT MUSCLE SHAKES
1 Scoop of vanilla or chocolate plant based protein powder. I like VEGA plant based protein. Vega uses muti-blend protein sources like pea,hemp,pumpkin seed,sunflower seed,alfalfa protein to nourish and re-feed your body
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1-2 TBSP of all natural nut butter, I like almond butter the best!
Blend and enjoy! You can also add 1-2 cups of fresh spinach to this for added nutrient boost and you will not even notice its in there!
SUNNY BERRY SHAKE
1 scoop of chocolate ,vanilla berry or unflavored protein works just fine.
1-2 CUPS OF BERRIES OF YOUR CHOICE, SOME GOOD ONES ARE STRAWBERRIES,CHERRIES,BLUEBERRIES,RASPBERRIES. Any combo of fresh or frozen fruit is great
1 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Blend and enjoy!
Some great mix ins for extra nutrition can be things like chia seeds, flaxseed meal, unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, dates, all natural granola ,oats, spinach or kale. Get creative!!