The Importance of Post Workout Nutrition.
We have all noticed the benefits of exercise whether it be strength, endurance, or a combination of both forms of exercise. By participating in these types of activities we are depleting the muscle’s fuel resources and also causing some minor damage (which is a good thing for muscle growth) and because of this the muscle is in need of fuel replenishment and repair. For all types of exercise our bodies are using carbohydrates for energy. So, what does that replenishment look like?
As our body is repairing and remodeling its self we must provide it with the right raw materials to help as much as possible. These raw materials should consist of protein and carbohydrates. Carbs are needed to promote an insulin release. When this occurs, it’s what is responsible for pushing carbs and amino acids into the muscle to help repair the tissue. Protein is also important. During your workout your muscle protein will be degraded, the protein will begin to breakdown. By adding protein into our post workout nutrition it will help rebuild the structural aspects of the muscle.
There is one thing you should try to avoid in your post workout nutrition, Fats! Fats are great in your daily nutrition but can decrease the effectiveness of your post workout nutrition. Consuming fats can decrease the digestion and absorption of carbs and proteins.
When should you consume a post workout meal? IMMEDIATELY after exercise, at a maximum, 1 hr after! Your muscles are depleted and need an abundance of protein and carbs. Because of this depletion the muscles are optimal for nutrient intake to start the recovery and repair phase. Because of this need, it is often easiest to drink a post workout shake. Most protein shakes contain fast absorbing carbs and proteins. They can be absorbed within 30-60 minutes to help start the nourishment of your muscles. If you were to eat an actually meal with solid foods, this can take up to 2-3 hrs. The faster the protein and carbs can get to the muscle, the faster the recovery process starts.