Nutrition plays an important role in your progress, and the post-workout meal is a MUST because your body needs to recover energy. This is because we make small tears in the muscles during weightlifting, so the post-workout meal needs to refill the glycogen storage (glycogen is the source of energy) and help the tear in the muscles to repair.
Follows these tips for creating the best post-workout meal and you may see results more quickly. If you need some inspiration, try my post-workout protein ice cream recipe!
My post-workout meal is typically high-carb, high-protein to help my recovery. Food is fuel and energy, so be smart and select the best for your post-workout meal including good sources of carbs and protein.
Carbohydrates. This is a must in your post-workout because your body, as I mentioned before, needs to refuel your glycogen storage. Research has shown that consuming carbohydrates within two hours of endurance exercise will build adequate glycogen stores. Ingesting good quality carbohydrates like fresh fruit cereal, and brown rice provides enough quality carbohydrates to begin refueling the muscles with lost glycogen.
Protein. Protein is also important because the amino acids are necessary to rebuild and restore your muscle tissue that is damaged during an intense workout. The amino acids also help the immune system. Good protein sources are: eggs, lean meats, yogurt and protein shakes.
Timing. Research shows that consuming a post-workout meal of protein with carbohydrates within 20 to 40 minutes of exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen. Strive for a minimum of a 1-gram protein:1-gram carbs to 1-gram protein: 2-gram carbs ratio.
Hydration. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should drink two to three cups of water before and after your workout and about one cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. If you are exercising for more than an hour at a time, consider drinking a sports drink to replace electrolytes lost during sweating.
Post-Workout Protein Ice Cream
100 grams strawberries
90 grams bananas
35 grams protein powder (I recommend Whey isolate chocolate flavor)
60 grams plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Put all the ingredients together in a blender (except the banana) and blend very slow. Store this mix in the freezer for at least 4 hours, and mix it few times within the 4 hours. Cut the banana in pieces, at the moment that you will eat this delicious ice cream just top it with the banana in the top. Yummy!
Nutritional facts (1 serving)
Energy: 122 calories
Protein: 17 grams
Carbohydrates: 16 grams
Fat: 1 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Betts JA, et al. Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance
Williams MB, et al. Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Feb;17(1):12-9.
Zawadzki KM, Yaspelkis BB 3rd, Ivy JL. Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1992 May;72(5):1854-9.