What should I take after my workouts? The all-too-common question but important one. Post workout nutrition is crucial to jumpstarting your recovery. Protein synthesis, our body’s process of making new proteins, is what heavily contributes to our muscle recovery and growth. Protein synthesis goes through the roof immediately after a workout and can stay elevated above baseline for 1-2 following that workout.
We should take advantage of our heightened ability with post workout nutrition. Protein is king, so it makes sense to consume it following a workout! Many supplement options exist as we have discussed in our recent blog on protein powders.
Protein supplements after a workout are a very common approach, but consuming them before your workout is equally effective. Aim to consume 20-30 grams of high quality protein before or following a workout! One serving of most protein supplements will almost always fall within that range. Make sure your protein is high in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) because of the important role they play in your recovery.
Once again, what works for you? A well balanced meal that is high in protein and other nutrients will also serve as great post workout nutrition. Real food is always a good option. If you are eating dinner shortly after you leave the gym, skip the shake and have a meal. If you are on the go afterwards, have a shake. Each day might be a little different but don’t skip out on your nutrition.
One final thing to remember is that even though we have a spike in protein synthesis following a workout, it is crucial to have constant protein throughout the day. If you have a protein shake after a workout and then do a poor job of meeting your protein needs over the following 24, 48, 72+ hour period, it probably won’t be very beneficial.
Post workout nutrition is important but efforts towards a consistent and nutritious diet is what will win every single time.
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