I used to be the typical gym junkie. As soon as a workout was over I’d head off to my gym bag and whip out a post workout shake of either whey protein, or whey and carbs mixed if I was trying to gain muscle. Unfortnatly this wasn’t getting me very far. Coupled with the high carbs and eating 5-6 times per day my body developed a soft puffy look plus I was tired and obsessed with the next meal.
On top of this I would see people in the gym stroll out having chats with freinds after a workout probably not eating for at least an hour after they had done. To add insult to injury a lot of these guys were in lean and athletic shape (which I put down to superior genetics) little did I know there was another way….
When was the last time you experienced severe hunger straight after a workout? I bet it wasn’t anytime recently. This is because your body has already started breaking down what its got to repair your muscles (this involves food you have eaten in the last 24 hours and some of your stored muscle/fat) so when you have done working out your body is already hard at work in a recovery process. It makes sense; If we needed to eat right after working out we would experience at least some sort of hunger pang. If you want to hear more about this listen to Dr McGuff on this podcast……….
When you workout your body releases HGH which aids the recovery process and spares lean tissue. Making sure your body uses its amino acid reserves plus fat and stored carbs for fuel during the workout. HGH is key to building a bigger and stronger body so let it flow. You can maximise the benefits by not eating for about 45-90 minutes after a workout, making it a nice time to take a walk or I like to sit down and have a short meditation/relaxation session after my workouts. Another good indicator is to wait until hunger pangs start kicking in…..
Post Workout Drinks
One things for sure and its that regular post workout drinks on the market which are usually a blend of fast acting protein and sugar are not only detrimental to your health (destroying insulin sensitivity) but they are expensive. If you are going to start using post workout shakes and you feel them neccesary (i.e you are an athlete and train long hours throughout the day) then simply plump for Chocolate Milk its cheap and just as effective to replenish muscle glycogen and provide amino acids to the muscle tissue.
- Ditch the post workout drinks
- Sugary drinks destroy your insulin sensitivity
- Eat a solid meal after a workout
- Up your anti-oxidants with the recovery meal (green tea, Vit C)
- Your body will recover from a workout for 24-48 hours after so no need to rush post workout nutrition
- Make the most of the HGH surge from your intense workouts
You will find that by following this advice you will not only save yourself a boat load of cash, but your body composition will improve regardless of if you are aiming to gain muscle or lose fat. Besides real foods are always best!
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