After a vigorous workout you must replenish your body with energy in the form of calories. By doing so your body increases protein synthesis, while decreasing protein breakdown and replenishes glycogen. Where those calories comes from is also important, that’s why a recovery protein shake is often the easiest and most convenient way to get the nutrients you need.
Post workout nutrition is based on the fact that certain nutrients are metabolized differently at different times of the day, specifically around times of exertion, i.e. your workout. Exercise sensitizes muscle tissue to certain hormones and nutrients, making muscles most responsive in a post workout window of anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours, depending on the work done. The macronutrients of focus, if you haven’t guessed it, are carbohydrates and protein. Carbs assist with replenishing glycogen, which is stored in muscle and is the main source of energy used in a lot of endurance sports. Replacing these stores has significant impact on subsequent performance levels, for both aerobic and anaerobic work. Protein, on the other hand, helps with building and repairing muscle. Exercise increases circulating catabolic hormones that break down glycogen and fat for fuel and can continue to break down muscle tissue, post exercise, if nutrient intake is compromised. Therefore, consuming a high glycemic carbohydrate, as well as a high quality protein, such as whey, will ensure that you’re properly refuelling, replenishing, repairing and building, post workout.
My favourite post workout meal is a chocolate-peanut butter-banana shake. See below for the recipe.
- ½ banana
- 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein of choice
- 2 tablespoons of collagen protein
- 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon of chia seed
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa nibs
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 250 ml water
- 3 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Total calories: 544 kcal
- Protein: 49g
- Carbs: 46g
- Fat: 21g
Founder & Lead Nutritionist of The Nutrition Tank