Post Workout Nutrition: The Anabolic Window

Nutrition is key if you're looking to get the most out of your time training. In fact, nutrition is arguably more important than the time you spend in the gym. As they say, "You can't out-train a bad diet." Of course you need to train hard, but without proper post-workout nutrition, you may be wasting your time. 

In this article, we're going to talk about optimizing your post workout nutrition in order to get the most out of your training. 

What's Happening?

So, you just finished your workout. You're tired, drained, and need to re-fuel. Before we can talk about recovery, you first need to understand what just happened to your body during training. 

As soon as you start training, your body enters a catabolic state, or a "breaking down" phase. During this phase, your stored energy (glycogen) is being used to fuel your muscles. As you train, these glycogen stores get used up. Once it's gone, your body will begin to use amino acids for energy by breaking down muscle tissue. 

Once you finish training, your body is depleted of glycogen, starved for nutrients, and insulin levels are high. It's imperative during this time to take advantage of the insulin sensitivity to rapidly shuttle nutrients to our muscles and begin recovery and growth. This phase lasts for about an hour.


Optimal Post-Workout Nutrition

So, during this critical post-workout phase, what exactly should you be eating to re-fuel and begin recovery?

Many people will stick to a pretty standard, balanced "chicken and brown rice" meal. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily optimal.

After training, the most important factor in your meal is speed. You want fast digesting protein to begin repairing your muscle tissue, and fast digesting carbs to begin rebuilding glycogen stores. 

Fast digesting proteins include egg whites and whey protein supplements, while fast digesting carbs are things like honey, fruits, and other "sugary" foods. 

The Perfect Post-Workout Shake

I don't know about you, but after an intense training session, the last thing I want is a large meal. So, we've designed the perfect post-training shake to give your body the fast digesting protein, carbs, and nutrients that it's craving. 

The shake:

  1. 8oz milk of choice (almond, skim, etc)
  2. 1 scoop Chocolate Pro Series Protein* (28g fast digesting protein)
  3. 2 tbsp. organic honey (34g fast digesting carbs)
  4. 2 tbsp. peanut butter 
  5. 1/2 banana (additional quick carbs and potassium)
  6. 1 cup ice (optional)

*We do recommend our 100% native whey Pro Series Protein for this shake as it digests faster and has a more complete amino acid profile than any whey isolate or concentrate, but you can use any fast digesting protein you prefer. 

Beyond Post-Workout

Once you've re-fueled your body immediately after training, your next meal should be more of a standard "clean meal," consisting of a real-food protein source, carb, and greens. We still want this to be a relatively fast digesting meal, so stick to things like lean meats and relatively quick carb like white rice or potatoes. 

After this meal, you will return to your standard, balanced diet focusing on quality protein sources, slower carbs, and vegetables.

Questions? Reach out and we'll be happy to discuss this topic further!


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