No matter your training goal, your results are influenced by a number of factors. There are a few that are beyond your control, such as genetics, but there are plenty you can have a significant impact upon, such as the program you follow, the amount of effort you put in, your consistency, your nutrition.
Add adequate sleep, rest, and recovery to the mix and you are going to be well on your way to some killer results.
Finally, when you get your nutrition dialed, through a healthy diet and with the support of high-quality supplements, there will be very little that can keep you from kicking your goals! One of the easiest ways to optimize your nutrition is to dial in your post-workout nutrition.
But why is this such a big deal?
After exercise, your body is in a depleted state. Exercise causes muscle breakdown, called catabolism, and also uses some or even all of your carbohydrate stores, properly called glycogen. For recovery and muscle growth to occur, you need to halt and reverse catabolism and restock those depleted stores of glycogen.
The sooner this can happen, the better. To facilitate this, your body increases the rate at which it will synthesize protein into muscle tissue and convert carbohydrates into glucose. It’s literally like a wrung-out sponge that will soak up anything you send its way.
POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION – YOUR OPTIONS
1) The best choices for post-exercise nutrition are fluids. Fluids are generally easier to digest than solids and will get to work sooner than “real” food. This makes a high-quality protein supplement, such as OxyWhey or IsoPept Zero, the perfect option for post-training session recovery. No mess, no fuss – just put a scoop into your shaker and you’ve got your post-workout nutrition sorted! To make the most of your increased ability to process nutrients, whatever you consume immediately after exercise needs to be fast-acting. That means high glycaemic index carbs and easy to digest protein. Fats, even healthy ones, should be avoided at this time because they can delay the digestive process, defeating the object of effective post-workout nutrition.
2) Alternatively, take an isotonic sports drink and mix it with a scoop of Oxywhey or IsoPept Zero. If you have both OxyWhey and IsoPept Zero handy, choose which protein to mix based on your goal; if you want to stay full after your drink, use OxyWhey as it'll take longer to digest; if you want fast-absorption for rapid recovery, use IsoPept Zero. This is super effective as it will satisfy your body’s need for high-quality protein, electrolytes, and potentially some carbs as well.
3) Another option is to combine your liquids and solids together; you could have an Oxywhey or IsoPept Zero shake plus a carb-rich snack – such as a banana, a bagel, or a couple of rice cakes. These options are relatively quick and easy to access and prepare so they are a great option!
4) If you prefer to eat rather than drink, you might want to consider any of the protein and carb bars that are currently available. High in protein and carbs, they taste not unlike candy bars so it’s an acceptable way to satisfy your sweet tooth. On the downside, these bars can be expensive and, if you are a big guy, you may need to eat two.
5) A tuna sandwich is a great example of more of a meal-based post-workout recovery option. It contains fast-acting carbs and protein, similar options would be protein oats, chicken breast salad wrap or rice, veg and tuna. However, some people exercise can diminish your appetite and you may not feel like eating immediately after exercise. If this is not you, a meal may be the perfect option for you, but it can be smart to have a tub of OxyWhey or IsoPept Zero on hand for those times when making a meal just isn’t an option.
CONTINUED POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION
The timing and size of this meal will depend on what you consumed immediately after your session. If you opted for something quick and light you will want something more substantial sooner rather than later.Your ability to take in and utilize nutrients is greatest immediately after exercise but remains elevated for the next few hours. This means that, in addition to your preferably liquid post-training snack, you also need to eat another carb and protein-rich meal in the next 1-2 hours.
However, if your post-workout option was a little bigger, then you won’t need your next meal so soon. Because you are still relatively nutrient-sensitive, this meal should also contain carbs that sit a little higher on the glycaemic index and easy to digest protein.
Fat intake should remain low to ensure you can make the most of the food you are eating. Good carb options include: rice, pasta, bread, cereals, potatoes, oats Combine a sensible-sized portion of the above with your preferred source of lean protein – beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, etc.
Or if you are opting for oats or cereal you can make these using a scoop of OxyWhey or IsoPept Zero combined with either water or milk. Once you’ve sufficiently refueled after your session, your subsequent means should look a little more varied and balanced and include healthy fats, plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and provide you with adequate calories, protein, and carbs according to your nutritional needs.
Nutrition is your secret weapon when it comes to seeing results. Good post-workout nutrition can make a significant difference in your rate of recovery after exercise.
Get it right and won’t just feel better, but you will start to see an improvement in your performance and your results. A little bit of organization and planning will go a long way and your efforts WILL be rewarded!