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Post Workout Nutrition

Post Workout NutritionIdea's for healthy post-workout shakes to help build muscle and enhance fat loss

As you probably have heard before, many people believe that what you choose to eat for a post workout nutrition meal after your workout may be the most important meal of the day, and for good reason.

The reason for this, is because after a high intensity workout or exercising session your body enters what is called a catabolic state witch is your muscle glycogen being depleted and increased cortisol levels are beginning to excessively break down muscle tissue. This is not good for the body, and the only way to fix this (and promote an anabolic state) is to consume a quickly digestible post-workout meal (a shake or smoothie) as soon as possible after training.

The goal is to eat a meal with quickly digestible carbs to replenish muscle glycogen as well as quickly digestible protein to provide the amino acids needed to jump start muscular repair. The amount of carbs and amino acids from the post workout meal promotes a insulin spike from the pancreas, then moves all the nutrients into the muscle cells. 

In general, from what i have learned in The Truth About Six Pack Abs a post-workout meal should contain 200-500 calories for the best results. A example would be a 120lbs woman may only need 200 calories post workout compared to a 200lbs man may need 500 calorie meal. Your post workout meal should be at a ratio of 2:1 carbs:protien or 4:1 carbs:protien. While the rest of your meals though out the day should contain healthy fats, however be sure to keep the fat content low because fat slows absorption of the meal, which is the opposite of what you want after a workout.

When choosing a post workout meal, is first you DON'T need any expensive post workout type supplements that you see all over the internet and in ads. Actually i prefer to make my own post workout meals and shakes from natural ingredients instead of using a commercial mixture, since many of them are low quality.

However a few brands that i trust and i do use are


They are great for a post workout meal because they are RTD (ready to drink) and they are fast and quick, they have just the right ratio of carbs to protein and use quality ingredients.

For the shakes that I make myself, here are some things to keep in mind if you try it...A good source of quickly digestible natural carbs such as frozen bananas, pineapples, honey, or organic maple syrup are perfect to elicit an insulin response that will promote muscle glycogen replenishment and a general anabolic (muscle building) effect. The more you can assist the muscle repair process, the more you increase your metabolic rate and can help your fat loss as well.

The best source of quickly digestible protein is a quality non-denatured whey protein isolate and/or some fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Here are a couple ideas for delicious post-workout smoothies that will kick start your recovery process:

Chocolate Banana - blend together 1 cup water, ½ cup skim milk, one and a half frozen bananas, 2 tbsp organic maple syrup, and 30 grams chocolate whey protein powder - 38 g prot, 72 g carb, 0.5 g fat, 440 calories.
Pineapple Vanilla - blend together 1 cup water, ½ cup vanilla yogurt, one cup frozen pineapples, 2 tbsp honey (preferably raw), and 30 grams vanilla whey protein powder - 35 g prot, 71 g carb, 0.5 g fat, 425 calories.
When looking to lose body fat, keep in mind that post-workout meals should have the opposite characteristics of all of your other meals throughout each day. While post-workout meals should have quick high glycemic index carbs and quickly digested proteins, all of your other meals throughout the day should be comprised of low glycemic index, slowly digested carbs and slow release proteins.

These are powerful strategies towards developing a lean muscular body with a low body fat percentage. Another great thing about post-workout meals is that you can satisfy even the worst sweet tooth, since this is the one time of the day where you can get away with eating extra sugars without adding to your gut. Instead, it all goes straight to the muscles! But ONLY if your workout was super-high intensity and involved resistance training for large portions of the body. If all you did was some low intensity cardio, forget about doing this type of post-workout shake.


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