Post-Workout Nutrition

Nutrition is nothing to be taken lightly. I feel strongly that there is too much consfusion and uncertainty when it comes refueling after a bout of exercise.

Exercising essentially tears down old muscle tissue and rebuilds stronger and more functional muscle in a process called remodeling. This phenomenon is only possible granted the body is provided the necessary materials to create this new tissue.

Imagine the process of remodeling your home.

You can hire someone to tear down a few walls, another guy to clean up the mess, and another person to come rebuild the new walls. However, if the materials are not provided to rebuild the wall, then all you have in the end is a much smaller, unfinished house.

This example explains the remodeling process that occurs post-exercise. Stimulating muscle tissue through exercise breaks down muscle carbohydrate stores and also protein structures within the muscle. The cleaning up process is achieved through the immune system which essentially cleans up the mess. At this point it is obvious that in order to create stronger and new muscle tissue, these lost materials must be replaced, hence, post-workout nutrition.

In order to receive full returns on your investment placed in the gym, carbohydrates and protein must be consumed. Recommendations of carbohydrate intake post-exercise are 0.8g-1.3g per 2.2lb of body weight for immediate carbohydrate refueling. Protein intake can be anywhere from 0.2g-0.4g per 2.2lb of bodyweight.

For Example:

High end Carbohydrate recommended intake for a 200lb male- 200/2.2 = 90.9 x (1.3) = 118.2g

Low end Carbohydrate recommended intake for a 200lb male- 200/2.2 = 90.9 x (0.8) = 72.7g

High end Protein recommended intake for a 200lb male- 200/2.2 = 90.9 x (0.4) = 36.4g

Low end Protein recommended intake for a 200lb male- 200/2.2 = 90.9 x (0.2) = 18.2g

Foods heavy with saturated/trans fat are to be avoided when consuming your post-workout intake. Fats can actually slow the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrates and protein.

Timing on post-workout nutrition is also very important. The sooner you replenish the body with carbohydrates and protein, the more effective the remodeling process will be. Therefore it is recommended that they be consumed immediately after exercise. The following are sample suggestions for post-workout food ideas.

-Chicken Stir Fry

-Hummus on a whole grain pita

-Toasted whole wheat bagel with almond butter

-Dried fruit and nuts

-Tuna and whole wheat crackers

-Egg white and spinach omelet

-Fruit smoothie

-Mix 1 drink

Trainer D’s Epic Post-Workout Shake Recipe

Blend the following together:

  • ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
  • ¼ cup Blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 Scoop of Protein
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
  • 20-30 oz water depending on desired thickness


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