After a long, hard workout in the gym, a HIIT or even CrossFit session, you need to re-feed your body with the best nutrition you can offer in order for it to heal and your muscles to repair and grow.
Arguably, your post workout shake and meal are the most important meals of the day; they are the meals that will replenish your glycogen stores and nourish your body when it needs it most. So, what are the best post-workout fuels that you should be consuming?
Protein and carbohydrates are the fuel sources your body craves straight after you work out. This is the window when your blood circulates best. If your main aim is to build muscle, try to eat between 20-30 grams of protein and 30-35 grams of carbs ideally within about 15 minutes of your workout.
If you’re training to maintain shape or shed a few pounds, you can have a little longer and eat within 45 minutes or an hour after your workout.
Related reading: Best Supplements for CrossFit
Fast acting protein
The most beneficial food component to consume after a workout is protein. There are plentiful protein supplements available on the market that make it nice and simple for you to get your post-workout dose. A scoop in water or almond/coconut milk will make a tasty and delicious shake.
Whey protein is the most popular choice for post-workout fuel, more specifically whey isolate. Whey isolate can be absorbed extremely fast by your body. This is because whey that has been hydrolyzed is the most easily absorbed because they protein has already been broken down into peptides.
After your workout, your body will be craving a carbohydrate to replenish its glycogen stores so that it can recover quicker and power you through your future workouts. Because of this, we suggest our athletes and keen exercise enthusiasts go for highly branched cyclic dextrin (HBCD) which you would mix with your protein and drink straight after your workout.
This is because they release into your system fast as they are digested at a quick rate and will give you a much-needed spike in blood sugar. Ever felt a little bit weak and shaky after a workout? That’s because your body requires carbs fast so choosing a high GI carb is the best option to combat this.
No matter what your goal is, the best thing you can do before you exercise in whatever form that may be is to prepare your post workout shake or meal first. Take a few moments to scoop your protein, highly branched cyclic dextrin and water into your shaker. Shake it up or blend and pop it in your gym bag so it’s ready to fuel your body immediately after your workout.