The Importance of A Post Workout Meal!
When we workout we do a lot of things to our bodies, we use our glycogen storages to fuel our workouts, we damage our muscle tissue in order to repair and build muscle.
Therefore you need to understand how important the post workout meal is.
There have been many people claiming that a post workout meal has to be eaten within 30 minutes post-training.
Rushing home in order to make your meal or immediately after training to drink your protein shake. This was called your anabolic window, but that ‘myth’ has been debunked for a while now.
That doesn’t mean that you’re post workout meal isn’t important anymore… it just means that you don’t have to eat anything 30 minutes post-training.
Your post workout meal should be a meal that consists of eating the right amount of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and of course protein to recover the damaged muscle tissue.
Why You Should Include Carbs in Your Post Workout Meal
During your workout, your muscles use their glycogen (stored energy), and glucose (usable energy) for energy. These energy sources have to be replenished, and you do that by feeding your body with good healthy whole food carbohydrates.
When your blood glucose and glycogen levels get so low to the point where you can’t exercise anymore. Your hormone cortisol is secreted, this hormone cortisol is your stress hormone.
What cortisol does is eat up muscle tissue for protein and convert it into glucose. A process called gluconeogenesis ensues, producing glucose from these amino acids in the liver. The net result is a loss of muscle tissue.
This is where the post workout meal comes into play. The post workout meal prevents this from happening. It also releases insulin, this as any of you might know is one of seven anabolic hormones in your body!
What Is The Best Carbohydrate After a Workout
You want a high glycemic carbohydrate source. Preferably with a glycemic indexover 70 (over 70 and above is rated high).
Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar and hence insulin levels.
This is also very important when you’re intermittent fasting and want to break your fast. When you eat carbs you spike your insulin, and when you add fats and combine the two you get an even bigger insulin spike.
That is not what we want, because when you combine the two when breaking a fast, you run a higher risk of storing fat, because of the super high insulin spike!
The Best Post-Workout Meal Carbohydrate Sources
- Potato regular or sweet potato
- rice cakes
- whole grain bread
- whole grain cereal
The Best Protein Sources
For your post workout meal, protein is the most important macronutrient, as it kick-starts the muscle protein synthesis and the muscle repair and growth process.
If you go for a meat source for your post workout meal, make sure it’s from a high-quality, preferably organic source. Meat and other animal products are whole proteins, which means they contain all 9 essential amino acids.
As mentioned earlier, your body is very receptive of the macronutrients it receives post workout. That’s why an organic meat protein source is a very good option.
I use the organic meat from FarmFoods, as they are certified organic and deliver straight from the farm to your doorstep!
Other good sources would be:
- cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- turkey or chicken
- salmon or tuna
- peanut butter
- protein shake (plant- or animal-based)
The Best Fat Sources (healthy fats)
Post Workout Macro Set-up
How much carbs, fats , and protein should be in your post workout meal for bodybuilding. Well, the ratios aren’t that difficult to explain.
When it comes to carbs, weight and training intensity are two factors that play a role here. Most sources suggest .25 (cutting) to .50 (mass gaining) per pound of lean body mass.
Protein should be in a ratio of 2 to 1, so if you have a lean body mass of 160 lb, this would mean 40 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein if you are cutting, and 80 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein if you are in a mass gaining cycle.
The Best Post Workout Meal Ideas
I’m assuming I got my point across about eating high glycemic carbohydrates after a workout…Now, what does a complete post workout meal for bodybuilding look like?
I don’t want to give you the ‘standard bodybuilding’ meal which is rice, broccoli, and chicken. But in all fairness, this is a meal you can use, or you play around with it. For example, replace the rice with pasta or any other high glycemic carbohydrate.
For your protein sources, you can replace the chicken with another type of meat or eggs for healthy fats.
My own post workout meal looks like this.
- 100 grams of oats, with a banana, or blueberries.
- 6 egg omelet ( 4 egg whites and 2 whole eggs)
- You can reduce the whole eggs and add avocado for healthy fats
You can see why this works really well. I get the carbs from the oats, the banana is a high glycemic carb source. The protein and healthy fats are from the eggs.
Post workout meal ideas ‘ Chicken & Rice ‘
This is the standard bodybuilding meal, but that’s because it’s super effective, easy to make, and affordable. Depending on your daily macro goals, it could look something like this.
- 100 grams of uncooked rice
- 250 grams of chicken breast or turkey
- Your preferd vegetable.
The Best Post Workout Supplement
A supplement should not be used as a meal replacement, but, just as a protein shake it can be used to make your life easier!
A lot has been said about protein shakes post workout, things like your anabolic window and you should take it 30 minutes post workout. That is not the case.
Foods you should be eating after your workout are carbohydrates, as they are quicker to be taken in to your bloodstream and refuel your glycogen storages.
Now, which post workout supplement should you take if you want one?!
There are also great supplements out there that you can use for post workout. supplements like, Nutrigo Lab Regeneration.
Nutrigo Lab Regeneration is a dietary supplement for professional athletes who want to support the body’s regeneration process after training. Due to a large dose of proteins, amino acids, and casein, the product reduces muscle pain and accelerates its build-up.
The product is very popular with professional athletes regardless of the type of discipline they practice.
The Best Post Workout Shake (Smoothie)
Who doesn’t love smoothies right.. Smoothies work perfectly as a post workout meal. Just combine your favorite protein powder with fruit like, bananas (high glycemic), and some amazing healthy oats.
My favorite post workout smoothie:
- 100 grams of oats
- frozen fruits, like berries, banana, or strawberries
- Almond milk or regular milk
- Your favorite protein powder
- Chia seeds for healthy fats