If you train hard, you need to eat properly. Post workout meal is one of important elements of your diet plan as a whole. So you need to know what to eat after your training.
Why Do You Need a Post Workout Meal?
Over the past 2-3 decades, the nutrient intake regime has been a major issue in many scientific studies and reviews. The key point of the regime is the consumption of nutrients in proper proportions (mainly protein and carbs) before, during and after the training session. That strategy should be aimed at maximizing muscle adaptation and accelerating the restoration of damaged tissues as a result of exhaustive workouts. It should be noted that some researchers argue that such strategies can provide a significant improvement in body composition, in particular an increase in lean muscle mass (you might be interested in Sustanon 250 as a muscle growth booster in bodybuilding). There is even an assumption that the specific regimen of nutrient intake is much more important than total daily calorie intake.
Very often people consider post-training period (the so-called anabolic window) the most important component of the nutrient intake regimen. Is it true or not?
Intensive resistance training causes a significant depletion of energy reserves (including glycogen and amino acids), as well as damage to muscle fibers. In theory, the consumption of the correct nutrient ratio during the post-workout period not only stimulates recovery of damaged tissues and energy reserves, but also improves body composition and improves athletic performance. Some scientists argue the existence of the anabolic window. This term stands for a limited post-training period, which is favorable for muscle hypertrophy caused by workouts. According to this theory, post workout meal is very beneficial.
Post Workout Snack – 6 Smart Options
Here are 6 top post workout snack options to fuel your body after workout (experts recommend chasing each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water).
- Protein Shake with Banana (proteins and carbs)
- Peanut Butter & Banana on Rice Cakes (protein, fats, and carbs)
- Hummus and Pita (protein, fats, and carbs).
- Yogurt and Fresh Berries (protein and carbs).
- Tuna on Whole Wheat (protein and carbs).
- Turkey and Cheese with Apple Slices (protein, fats, dietary fiber, and carbs).
You see, post workout food should be healthy.
Post Workout Supplements – Main Features
Post workout supplements belong to a complex sports nutrition, which contains many important substances for the body (nutrients) in concentrated amounts. Due to the rich nutrient content, the body can restore the presence of active substances. Not all people know that during the first 40-60 min after intensive workout the human body can absorb much more essential nutrients than in other periods.
Therefore, the use of post workout supplements is very important for your body, because with their help you can restore energy & strength after heavy workouts.
Many post workout supplements increase the flow of oxygen into the bloodstream and, consequently, in muscles, improve blood circulation and provide vasodilating effect.
As you can see, using post workout supps you can get a lot of macronutrients, minerals, amino acids, vitamins, other essential and semi-essential substances.
So that you can recover properly after training it is very important to eat proper food in time.
Do not neglect this part of nutrition if your goal is bulking (muscle mass gaining). After gym workouts, the body’s stores are depleted, therefore, it needs a new supply of nutrients.
Here’s why you need post workout supplements:
- to replenish glycogen stores;
- to minimize the breakdown of proteins;
- to activate protein synthesis in the body;
- to restore bodily energy reserves.
By adding post workout supplements to your meal plan, you will be able to quickly achieve your goals. High-quality post workout supplements feature the following advantages:
- increase in bone tissue density;
- increase in muscle mass;
- relieving muscle pain;
- enhanced immunity.
A lot of sports nutrition manufacturers like Weider, Maxler, VPLab and others produce post-workout supps.
Best Post Workout Drink – Ready-Made and Home-Made Options
Let’s consider 2 best post workout drink products:
- Anabolic Window is a highly effective product from Nutrabolics company, which is a powerful formula for quick and proper recovery after training. Also it promotes growth of muscle tissue aft. The main advantage of Anabolic Window is its multicomponent composition, which offers a full range of essential & semi-essential macro- and micronutrients for the best results. The use of just one portion of this product forces the body to produce human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin-like factor thereby providing an excellent anabolic effect, which facilitates accelerated muscle growth, recovery and prevention of muscle catabolism. The product contains a perfect amino acid matrix called Anabolic Shock Matrix. Each serving of the product contains 43 grams of a unique carbohydrate complex with a step-by-step action (modified potato starch, D-glucose, maltodextrin, etc.), which ensures a gradual energy boost and activation of the insulin-like factor for maximum anabolic effect after exercise. Also, Anabolic Window contains 30 grams of high-quality protein complex based on quick-digestible protein forms (whey protein hydrolyte, high-quality isolate protein, and whey protein concentrate). Here is how to use Anabolic Window. Mix 3 scoops (92 grams) with 250-400 ml (depending on the desired consistency) of water. Take 1 serving within 45 minutes after your workout. (You might be interested in natural steroids.)
- Reanimator is an ideal post-workout product for muscle gain, nervous system and joint recovery developed by Olimp Sport Nutrition (Poland). Reanimator contains excellent dosages of anabolic and anti-catabolic amino acids (including BCAA) and peptides, as well as a mixture of carbohydrates to restore glycogen and maximize anabolism. This product also features substances for suppressing oxidative processes, controlling and reducing the number of free radicals that usually occur after a high-intensity training. The manufacturer of the product also claims that the supplement is good for joints, because they may suffer during intensive workouts. The product contains collagen, glucosamine sulfate and hyaluronic acid.
Well, let’s switch to homemade pre-workout options.
- Cocoa Protein Cocktail.
- Cottage cheese: 300g;
- Milk (fat-free): 200 ml;
- Water: 100-200 ml;
- Cocoa: 1 tbsp.
- Strawberry Protein Cocktail
- Cottage cheese: 200g;
- Milk (1.5%): 200 ml;
- Strawberries: 100 g.
- Kiwi & Honey Cocktail.
- Soymilk: 300 ml;
- Yogurt (1.5%): 200 ml;
- Kiwi: 1 fruit;
- Honey: 1-2 tablespoons.
How to cook a cocktail? Mix all ingredients with blender or mixer. Drink the blend after your workout.
Post Workout Smoothies – Best Recipes
If you are a woman, you may prefer fruit smoothies over classic post-workout drinks. Here are some good options for you:
1. Mint Cocktail. This post workout smoothie will provide your body with carbohydrates and potassium thanks to bananas. Also, it contains healthy fats and proteins due to cashew content. The product is good for weight loss. Mint will give the smoothie a pleasant green color and, of course, a refreshing and invigorating taste.
- frozen or raw bananas;
- 1 glass of organic soy milk;
- 1/4 cup of mint leaves;
- 1/4 cup of raw cashew;
- 1/3 cup of tofu;
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
How to prepare this cocktail? Mix all the ingredients in the blender until you achieve a soft drink.
2. Berry Protein Cocktail. To refill the muscles after a hard workout, you can prepare a smoothie with bananas, berries, and low-fat milk. This cocktail contains all necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates and potassium. Also, such a drink is good for stomach digestion thanks to berries, which supply the body with antioxidants.
- 30 grams of soy protein;
- 230 grams of low-fat milk;
- 1/2 banana;
- 3/4 cup of frozen / raw berries.
Mix the ingredients in a blender – the cocktail is ready for consumption! You may find other recipes for home smoothies in the Internet.
The Bottom Line on Post Workout Food
Consumption of 0.4-0.5 grams of high-quality protein per kilogram of lean muscle mass before and after workout is a simple general recommendation reflecting the evidence, demonstrating the maximum anabolic effect as a result of consuming 20-40 grams of protein. Read more on natural pre-workout supplements.
Thus, a person whose fat-free mass is 70 kilograms (154 pounds) should consume about 28-35 grams of protein during pre- and post-training meals. If this dose is exceeded, it is most likely that this will not have any negative effects (or they will be minimal). But if you do not consume proper amounts of nutrients, you cannot expect good anabolic effect.
Due to the short duration of the anabolic effect of protein intake, the interval between pre- and post-training meals should not be more than three to four hours, given that a typical workout lasts 45-90 min. But in fact, the so-called anabolic window is not as important as it may seem to be. Generally speaking, total nutrient intake matters, not timing.