So you’ve just completed a really tough workout, now what… It’s time to get your PROTES in!
Post workout nutrition is incredibly important in building muscle. Whilst current literature suggests a post workout meal should consist of fast acting carbs, such as pure glucose/dextrose, concentrated protein and minimal fats, I have actually managed to build muscle with low carb, high protein and moderate fat post workout meals, plus I suffer from Addisonian Sarcopenia (decreased muscle mass as a result of Addison’s disease); so if I can do it, so can you!
But it really just depends on how you feel with carbs as to whether you include them in your post workout meal, and if you feel fine on them, I would recommend sweet potato, yam or berries as your main sources. In terms of protein, I would recommend at least 30g of protein (that’s protein, not food) with a special emphasis on eggs and whey protein isolate which are the most bioavailable sources of BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids trigger important biochemical reactions within the body which assist in protein synthesis (aka they make your muscles get bigger) more than other amino acids.
Literature states it is best to avoid fats in a post workout meal as they slow the digestion of protein, however, fats also increase the bioavailability of protein. This means that although the protein doesn’t repair the muscles quite as quickly with fats present, the muscle actually gets more out of the protein, and therefore has the ability to repair (aka get bigger) more easily.
Additionally, it is equally important that this meal is consumed within 40 minutes of finishing your workout (the ‘anabolic window’) to get the best results from your workout and food.
I generally exercise first thing in the morning and have brekky as my post workout meal. I have listed some possible post workout options for you below:
- Boiled, skinless chicken breast cooked to within an inch of its life (don’t even think about adding salt to it)
^^^ Jokes Jokes ^^^
Some real options include:
- 1-2 scoops of whey protein isolate in water/coconut milk with 1Tbs of almond paste (30-40g protein)
- 3-4 eggs cooked with 50g of ham and 100g of tomato (30-40g of protein)
- 100-200g of any meat with 100g vegetables (25-50g of protein)
- 2 eggs cooked with 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, vanilla essence and cinnamon topped with whipped coconut cream to make a sweet omelette (30-40g protein)
- Vanilla Mug Cake: 2 eggs, 1 scoop of whey protein isolate, 1Tsp coconut flour, vanilla, cinnamon cooked in a low oven for 10 minutes or until puffy (32g protein).
- 150g ham/turkey slices spread wrapped around slices of 1-2 boiled eggs (30-50g protein)