Did you know that sports nutrition supplements make up a 278 billion dollar industry worldwide?
This is part of the reason that explains the feeling you have to know the best possible formula for your post workout shake.
But do you even need a post workout shake...
There are three critical questions you need to answer.
What type of training do you do?
How hard and long are your sessions?
What nutrition protocol do you prescribe to?
Let’s address the first question.
The type of training you do is very important. This is because cardio, weights and CrossFit (a combination of both) all require different recovery methods.
Most importantly the composition of your post workout shake changes based on your training type.
It is definitely important to have after your training but what goes in it makes all the difference.
As a guide high volume weight training with lots of reps and time under load requires more simple carbohydrate and protein in a post workout shake.
Long slow endurance training generally needs more carbohydrate and little protein. Some schools of thought now argue that fats should be added in with protein and carbohydrates left out.
That is a whole other story.
So when you reflect on your session it is important to know your sliding scale. This will dictate your protein and carbohydrate portions.
The second question.
If you’re having an easy day or hitting the hardest session of the week it might be obvious on how this can drastically change the size of your post workout shake.
Here’s what you need to know…
Longer sessions which stretch over an hour ideally will have a larger serving of protein and carb to replenish the depleted stores.
Even more ideal would be to start consuming that shake at the 1 hour mark to begin recovery and reduce breakdown. This may not always be appropriate depending on what type of session you find yourself in. Conversely shorter sessions may require less overall calories.
But here is the important factor…
The harder you are pushing your body in your training the more damage you are doing to it and the more repair that needs to be done after the session.
Increasing intensity means increasing breakdown which means a need for increased recovery.
If you’re going hard as a mother f**** make sure you double down on protein and carbohydrate servings.
The third question.
Do you eat paleo, atkins or count macros?
What type of fuel are you getting in day to day or are you just shooting in the dark?
Whatever type of diet you follow…
Should not affect what we established in the first two questions. What you should take away is that if you prescribe to a certain nutritional philosophy you will need to alter the type of protein and carb.
Paleo subscribers may want to use a vegan organic protein and a non starch carb source as it fits the framework of the diet. This is important information to consider when buying the ingredients for the post workout shake.
Post workout nutrition is important and you will need it to recover.
Now we have established what you need to consider.
Let’s quickly cover what benefits you can expect and why it REALLY matters.
The Window of Opportunity (gainz).
After an intense workout (again intensity is important) the amount of muscle breakdown is high and your body’s repair window is heightened.
It is starving for nutrients and energy.
Here’s what to do...
At this point you can now TRULY take advantage of your body's repair capabilities. Putting the right fuel inside of a 2 hour post workout window allows for an increase in muscle repair, energy replenishment and overall recovery.
Missing this critical window…
Will lead to a decrease in your ability to recover fully. Take advantage of your hard work!
In summary it is important to consider all these aspects of post workout nutrition. This will allow you to optimise your training, recovery and progress.
You need to be prepared.
Fortunately the supplement industry has made this aspect of your nutrition highly convenient. Make sure you do your research when buying supplements. Be sure to always check for a brand's reputation and know your ingredients.
Let the gains begin.
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Merry Christmas :)