Workout. Refuel. Go again!
You’ve done the hard part; you’ve hit the gym and hit the gym hard. But how do you optimize your workout? What difference does your post workout routine make? Well quite A LOT actually! So here are some tips to get you on track.
Nutrition has a huge part to play in your recovery, ability to workout again and the results you get from the workout you just smashed! So we are going to look at some simple habits to get into that will help you achieve all of the above.
Glycogen in the Liver and Muscles will be depleted after a solid workout, by replenishing these stores we are effectively helping our muscles recover quickly and allowing them to optimise performance in the next workout. The easiest place to get your Glycogen fix is in a Post Workout shake, this is because they use Dextrose which has a higher GI rating than most ‘naturally occuring’ sugars. Lets be honest though, some people just don’t like the shakes, or prefer to eat, if this is you why not have some freshly cut Pineapple, Mango or Banana? If you like the idea of a shake but want to eat Raw or natural ingredients why not blend 300g of fruit with 300ml of milk and a handful of whole meal oats. This will both fill you and help raise your Glycogen levels extensively.
Protein is heavily associated with Post Workout nutrition. The reason we need protein is that if we don’t consume it, it consumes us! The body needs Protein to operate, and after a heavy workout, it will use it’s own muscle tissue for fuel if it can’t get it anywhere else. That just doesn’t make sense! We spend hours in the gym only for our own bodies to undo our good work! But it’s true, so we need to get some Protein on board within an hour of our workout, the sooner the better! The easiest way to get your Protein is in a specially made shake; again, many people just don’t like this idea so where else can we get this from?
Greek Yoghurt is a good natural source of Protein, so are nuts (although high in natural fats) so using the recipe above you could replace some milk (or all) with Greek Yoghurt and add some nuts and a dash of Lemon Juice. If you are feeling really hardcore you could even blend in a raw egg as these are an excellent source too.
If the shake thing really isn’t tickling your fancy then you can of course eat some Protein, Chicken and Turkey (Turkey is much leaner) is a great source of protein, add a couple of eggs (cooked!) and you have a serious Protein hit. Fish is also an excellent source of Protein too so why not add this into the mix? You can serve this with some Beans, Lentils or Pulses to really up the Protein intake.
The key to Post Workout nutrition is to get it on board as soon as possible and consume quick to digest sources of Carbohydrate and Protein. The main thing is to find what works for you, something you enjoy and change it up. This way you are going to get results over a sustained period and ultimately achieve your goals. Good luck.
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