Christian Vanas - 28 July, 2022
Post Workout Nutrition For Weight Loss or Muscle Gain
Mhe concept of taking a 'rest day' may seem difficult when you're trying to reach your fitness goals. Rest and recovery are crucial components of an exercise program since they assist your body in recovering, rejuvenating, and preventing injuries by allowing the body to repair and strengthen itself between workouts.
Feeling pretty damn ravenous after a workout? Your body is screaming to be refuelled. But what we put into our body post workout is critical to ensure our bodies can rebuild and recover correctly. Let's look at how protein benefits muscle recovery and how carbohydrates support energy production, and why this needs to be part of your post-workout period.
The Science Behind Post Workout Nutrition
The 2 main factors that make up our daily nutrition coming in are protein and carbohydrates.
Protein is needed for supporting muscle protein synthesis, cell turnover, and to repair any damage caused during your workout. Your body is now in the correct state to build muscle. Protein after a workout is essential and will be the most important macronutrient you’ll want to include in your post-workout intake.
To refuel the body, carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores that have been depleted during exercise. Carbs give us energy for the rest of the day, provide muscle with fuel for your next workout, and help prevent muscle breakdown. Studies show that delaying carbohydrate consumption by just 2 hours can reduce the rate of muscle glycogen re-synthesis by as much as 50%, so timing is essential here!
What about Fats?
Some say that eating fats after exercising may slow digestion and nutrient absorption. The post-workout effects of fat calories may be true for some kinds of fat, but in general there is not enough evidence to support this claim. In general, limiting fat intake after exercise makes sense, but low levels of fat are unlikely to inhibit recovery. Now that we have covered what should be part of your post workout nutritional intake, we need to focus on your goal. Weight loss or muscle gain?
Post Workout Nutrition For Weight Loss
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A caloric deficit will help you lose weight, requiring you to exert more energy than you put in to reach your weight loss goal. When you eat or drink fewer calories than you burn, you achieve a calorie deficit. Queue calorie counting! For most people, a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day is sufficient for weight loss and unlikely to significantly affect your hunger or energy levels.
Post Workout Nutrition For Muscle Gain
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If you want to maintain or gain muscle mass, you will need a caloric surplus. If you are keen on gaining muscle, or bulking up, then you are going to want to amp up your calorie consumption. Bulking is the process of gaining muscle mass. This involves eating more calories than your body needs for a set period of time, usually between 4 and 6 months. Extra calories provide your body with the necessary fuel for boosting muscle size and strength. Once you have hit your ideal muscle mass, you’re going to cut down on calories to maintain muscle mass.
Work Out Your Calorie Intake Needs
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats all contain calories. Calculate your daily caloric requirements by using a calorie counter, which takes your weight, sex, height, age, and level of physical activity into account to determine your ideal caloric intake for the day.
Post Workout Nutrition Timing Is Everything
Another important factor when it comes to post workout nutrition is timing. You’ll be wanting to time your nutritional intake within the “anabolic window”. This anabolic window lasts approximately thirty minutes to two hours after your workout has ended.
Post Workout Food And Snacks
A post-workout nutritional intake with both protein and carbs will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Consuming a ratio of 3 to 1 (carbs to protein) is a good rule of thumb. However, if your goal is either weight loss or muscle gain, adjust accordingly.
Protein Republic whey protein bars or plant based protein bars are ideal as a post workout snack to help with muscle recovery and growth and satisfy your hunger. Ideally you want to have a protein bar handy after your workout, so you can consume it within the anabolic window. You then have time up your sleeve before needing a full post workout meal.
Below are some examples of easy to digest foods that tick the nutritional post-workout requirements:
Quinoa and other grains
Whole grain bread
Fruit (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
Whey protein powder
Plant based protein powder
Whey protein bars
Plant based protein bars
Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)
Check out our recipes for post work out meal inspiration!
Article credit : Heidi Cohen ( https://heidicohen.com/use-blog-to-sell/ )