How to Accelerate Your Fitness Gains With This Nutrient Timing Trick: The Importance of the Post Workout Meal
The vital importance of the post workout meal, or more specifically, the post workout drink, can not be overstated.
After a hard training session, your body is primed and ready to absorb all the nutrients it needs to help your body begin recovering from the muscle breakdown that has occurred during your training session.
Why a drink? Because your body is craving nutrients immediately following a hard training session and it needs them quickly. Your body will digest the nutrients in liquid form much more quickly than a solid fool meal.
During this time your body is ready, willing and able to quickly and completely absorb the protein that it needs. This will help to optimize protein synthesis, leading to a positive nitrogen balance, gains in muscle and strength, and the loss of body fat.
Of course, you need to constantly supply your body with the protein it needs to maintain and build muscle mass. However, the time right after a hard training session intensifies your body’s ability to absorb the protein it needs.
For the post-workout “meal” it’s crucial to take in fast acting protein and fast acting carbs. This is one of those times you gladly want your body to release insulin, in order to help shuttle the much needed carbs and amino acids into the muscles.
Try taking in 30 to 40 grams of whey protein and 12 to 16 ounces of 100% juice.
Another great way to do it is to use a drink specifically designed to take advantage of the post workout opportunity.
To improve gains even more, the final meal of the day should include a combination protein that includes both whey protein and micellar casein. Micellar casein is a slow digesting protein that is very anti-catabolic (prevents the breakdown of muscle).
Taking in a protein that includes micellar casein allows you to supply your body with the needed amino acids for a much longer period of your sleep time, helping to minimize, if not prevent, your body from entering a catabolic state while you sleep.
The more you can lessen the breakdown of muscle tissue while you sleep (catabolism) the quicker you’ll muscle building and fat loss progress will be over time.
If you train first thing in the morning, you will make a few minor adjustments. Add some carbs to your protein powder when you wake and then make your post workout meal a liquid one if you are training with weights.
If you did low to moderate intensity aerobics, you can still enjoy a solid food meal.
Following is a sample day including the post workout meal.
6:30 am – One serving of whey protein (maybe mixed with 4 ounces of juice)
7:00 am – 6 egg whites, a serving of mixed vegetables, a tablespoon of flaxseed (or coconut) oil
10:00 am – Meal Replacement Powder
1:00 pm – Chicken Breast, mixed vegetables, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
4:00 pm – Meal Replacement Powder
6:00 pm (pre-workout) – One serving of whey protein, 8 ounces of grape juice
7:00 pm (post-workout) – 20 to 40 grams of whey protein mixed with 10 to 60 grams of fast acting carbohydrates.
The gram count can vary widely, depending on your calorie intake and whether or not you are trying to build muscle or maximize fat burning.
10:00 pm – Cottage Cheese, mixed vegetables, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
11:00 pm – 1 serving of whey protein mixed in a cup of milk
On a non weight training day, the 6 and 7 pm feedings would be combined into a whole food meal such as a lean cut of steak, a big salad and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil.
The times of the meals are just an example. You may workout first thing in the morning, you might workout in the evening but be doing intermittent fasting, or you might simply be eating a simple breakfast, lunch dinner meal plan, with slight adjustments for your post-workout meal.
Now, this meal plan can also change depending on goals at the time such as focusing on building more muscle or turning the body into a fat burning machine.
The big takeaway is to be sure and get some protein and fast acting carbs not long after your weight workout in order to see better, faster results!