Post Workout Meal
How to Eat and Supplement After a Workout
If you are reading this article, you are more than likely pretty darn serious about making significant gains in muscle mass, while minimizing body fat accrual. Of course, this means getting to the gym at least 4-6 days per week and pounding the iron with laser-like focus and relentless intensity.
But it is important to remember that if you desire to maximize your progress, it is what you do in that first 30-45 minutes after pumping out that final rep that will make or break the final result.
Training, by itself, is only the stimulus for muscle growth but will do little to nothing to manifest it unless the body is rapidly fed the nutrients needed to not only facilitate muscular and systemic recovery but also to provide the “material” or “building blocks” to actually create new lean tissue (muscle).
In essence, Post-Workout Nutrition is necessary to:
- Restore a more favorable hormonal profile (reduce cortisol/increase testosterone)
- Replenish muscle glycogen stores
- Shuttle growth-producing compounds such as creatine and LCLT to muscle cells
- Increase muscle cell volume
- Facilitate CNS recovery
- Ignite the mTOR pathway (i.e. a powerful internal mechanism for “turning on” anabolism)
- Halt protein degradation
- Stimulate protein synthesis.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at exactly what types of nutrients/supplements are most beneficial after training, and how they should be utilized and timed for maximizing your progress.
Off To The Perfect Start
You just pumped that final gut-busting rep, dropped the DB’s and felt that last droplet of sweat drip from your forehead. Yes, the workout is over and you absolutely “killed it!” But before you hit the restroom, say your goodbyes and head out the door, you want to make sure you pull these items out of your gym bag and get them flowing through your veins!
When: Immediately post workout.
Dosage: 1 scoop CVOL and 5 grams Leucine.
Why: CVOL is essential because it helps foster many vital facets of recovery after intense training. As I mentioned, what we do in the gym only increases the possibility for hypertrophy. If we do not efficiently repair the damage that resistance training causes, new lean tissue will not be produced! The combination of an advanced Creatine chelate complex, Beta-Alanine and L-Carnitine L-Tartrate that is supplied in CVOL has been shown in many research studies to be optimal for maximizing muscular repair and recuperation.
The replacement and augmentation of intracellular creatine and carnosine stores must be addressed immediately post workout to help prepare them for the next one. LCLT works to “shield” muscles from excessive damage during resistance training while also protecting/increasing androgen receptors on muscle cells. One of the most powerful “pathways” the human body has for creating muscle growth is known as mTOR. Leucine has been proven to directly “switch on” mTOR, and the most vital time to do so is right after an intense resistance workout.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Most experts in the field of significant physique transformation (including myself) believe that a time “window” exists after an intense workout in which it is optimal to consume your post-training meal. The consensus is that high-quality protein and carbs should be ingested within 30-45 minutes of completing your final repetition, as the body is metabolically set up during this period to “partition” consumed calories toward muscle cells, and away from fat storage. This allows for an extra-large intake of nutrients, which will be shuttled directly toward damaged muscle tissue to rapidly initiate repair, recovery, and recuperation. Research shows that a delay in carbohydrate ingestion of just two hours can result in up to a 50% reduction of glycogen synthesis. Thus the take-home message is – once your workout is complete, get in your next meal “STAT!”
Protein and Carbs: Which Ones?
While there is still some debate as to whether it really matters where your protein and carbs come from after training, most top coaches recommend food sources that allow for rapid uptake into the bloodstream and a healthy spike in the anabolic hormone, insulin. This means that proteins consumed should be low in fat/easily digested, and a good portion of carbohydrates that rank high on the glycemic index. Here are a few suggestions:
Post Workout Proteins
- Lean fish such as Tilapia, Sole or Mahi Mahi
- Chicken Breast
- Turkey Breast
- Egg Whites
- Whey Isolate
Post Workout Carbs
- Baked Potato
- White Rice
- Rice Cakes
- Engineered Carbohydrate Powder
**A few words on fats – Because consuming fats tends to slow the digestive process it is best to keep intake low with the post-training meal. This does not mean zero fats, but simply that you should not add extra fats to this meal, nor consume proteins naturally high in fats (i.e. egg yolks, red meat, salmon). However, because fats, especially EFA’s (Omega-3’s from fish oil, nuts, avocados) are extremely important for health and positive body composition, make sure you are ingesting them as needed in your overall daily diet regimen.
The Perfect Post-Workout Meal
Now that we have established that it is essential to consume your post-workout meal within 30-45 minutes after completion of your final rep and that it is best to utilize foods that are rapidly/easily absorbed and assimilated, lets take a look at what might just be the PERFECT combination of protein and carbs for igniting your gains in muscle mass.
When: 30-45 minutes after completing a weight training workout or intense practice session.
Dosage: 1-2 scoops ISOFLEX and 2-4 scoops of CARBION+ in water.
Why: The 100% whey isolates contained within ISOFLEX, created by using a unique protein extraction technology known as “Hybrid-Ratio Ion-Filtration” or “HRI,” yields the most rapidly absorbed, native, intact and non-denatured whey protein fractions available anywhere. By consuming ISOFLEX after your workouts you can be assured that all of the essential amino acids (especially the BCAA’s) will be delivered to your hungry muscle cells, to begin the repair and recovery process, at lightning speed (far more quickly and efficiently than any protein food source or powder).
The brand new, reformulated CARBION+ contains a “Phased-Delivery Carbohydrate Blend” that is highly soluble, easy mixing, and rapidly absorbed through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream where it maximizes the insulin response, pushing carbohydrates, amino acids, and critical nutrients directly into the muscles. Additionally, the exclusive blend of plant extracts included in CARBION+ (Prickly Pear, Bitter Melon, and Cinnulin PF) further assist insulin in driving the anabolic process. The 1-2 punch of ISOFLEX and CARBION+ will assure that every moment you spend in the gym is maximized toward significant and continuous progress.
So once again, remember – gaining muscle and losing body fat is not only accomplished via what you do in the gym but just as much so by what you do once you leave.