A hot topic on everyone’s lips in my studio and circle of friends is post-workout nutrition. “What should I eat that will get me the best results and keep me healthy?” is something I hear almost daily. Here’s a process I’ve used myself – and with clients- that has given amazing results.
The post-workout meal shouldn’t be ignored – but too many people are still skipping it – or don’t realize why it’s so important. But in my opinion, it’s one of the most important meals of the day! Here’s the low down on why…
As soon as you finish working out – like within minutes – you want to drink a high quality recovery shake. Drinking the right post workout shake will stop the catabolic process (muscle being broken down), and start to rebuild your muscles, it will also reduce free radical damage (free radicals are molecules that cause tissue damage. This can be caused by many things, and working out is one of them), and lower cortisol levels (a naturally occurring stress hormone in the body that can cause you to hold fat when in excess). This means you need to pack your post-workout shake with you – or be able to be home to make it after finishing your workout.
Sounds complicated – but here are a few ways to make it easier. The right kind of protein powder or other shake mix can give you everything you’re looking for without a high demand on time. Look for these things when picking your post workout recovery shake: artificial sweetener and fructose free, 100% organic ingredients, amino acids like taurine help with insulin sensitivity, and magnesium which helps with managing blood sugar levels. These shakes are unlike your routine morning smoothie, where you’d add bananas, peanut butter and fibre for example, as it’s sole purpose is to stop the damage done in the workout and help you avoid crashing and craving high sugar foods!
One of the brands I really like is trurecovery by truperformance. A Canadian formula that boast all the ingredients I mentioned above. One of my other faves is Sunwarrior Vegan Rice Protein. Just add your favourite good quality juice and amino acids and you’re good to go!
But you still need more! About 45 mins – 1 hour after you finish training and drink your shake, your blood sugar levels will drop again, and this is the ideal time to eat real food. Hooray! A fist-size portion of chicken breast, a small sweet potato, half an avocado and a small green salad. is a great post-workout meal. To get the most out of your workout, a quick burning carb(the sweet potato) , good quality lean protein, healthy fat (yes – you can have fat! This is where the avocado comes in!) and the alkalinity and fiber from greens. Alkalinity is important to keep PH levels balanced in the body and avoid illness. Check out eatcleandiet.com, bodyrock.tv and cassandrahope.me for recipe inspiration so you don’t get bored of the same ol’ same ol’!
So now that you have the low down on what to stock your gym bag and fridge with, ask yourself what it is that you may be missing in your post workout nutrition?