Post-Workout Shake, Know the ins-and-outs

It is important to remember not to reduce the calories intake right after a workout when your metabolism is high. It is during the post workout that you body requires quality source of protein and carbohydrates to start the rebuilding process and the best moment to ensure your body have the right protein source to cater to you workout routine. Below are the steps you need to take to make the perfect post-workout protein shake.

  1. Know your type of protein source
  2. Determine how much protein you require
  3. Determine how many carbohydrates you require
  4. Add some creatine

For the average workout consisting of between 2 to 3 hours like weight lifting (20 or 30 sets including warm up and cool down), you’re going to need approximately 45 grams of protein, which equates to two scoops of your whey protein powder. If you’re a heavier individual (above 180 pounds or 82kgs) you can increase this to 70 grams of protein.

Include creatine

One study by US National Institutes of Health indicates the “Creatine is most commonly used for improving exercise performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes and older adults. There is some science supporting the use of creatine in improving the athletic performance of young, healthy people during brief high-intensity activity such as sprinting or weight lifting”. So this is a great addition to your post workout protein shakes especially those who are on resistance-training workout. Add about five grams of creatine powder to help replenish the creatine stores in the body that have just been used up.

Get your carbohydrate source

Once you’ve figured out your protein needs, then you must look at carbohydrates. Fat in this time period is to be avoided since it will slow down the release of the nutrients to the muscle cells, which is exactly what you don’t want. In order to get the best results, you should aim to take a fast-acting carbohydrate right after the workout, and then follow that with a slower carbohydrate in the hour or two afterward. This will help to spike insulin levels and drive the glucose into the muscle cells for quick recovery.

Dextrose is the best choice; however, any simple glucose food product will also work. One word of caution is to avoid fructose as much as you can because it is handled slightly differently in the body, being directed to the liver first, rather than straight into the muscle cells. To maximize muscle glycogen resynthesis in the post-workout period, you will want to add five grams of carbohydrates for every two working sets performed. Using our illustration of a workout consisting of 20 to 30 sets, this means you’re taking in 50 to 75 grams of dextrose.

Keep in mind that if you are looking to build more muscle mass, you can go higher with this intake to boost your calories and encourage building of lean tissue. You will be most anabolic in the time right after your workout, so making use of this by placing a large portion of calories at this time is a very smart move.

Revive and restore

To summarize, to create your post-workout shake you need:

  • 50 grams of whey isolate protein powder
  • 5 grams of creatine
  • 50-75 grams (or more) of dextroseMix all of this together and consume immediately after your cool-down has finished. Follow this with another meal that consists of a solid protein source, a slower digesting form of carbohydrates and a small amount of healthy fat an hour afterward.If you want to maximize the results you get from your workout, the post-workout shake cannot be skipped. By getting this right, you’re one step closer to realizing your goals.
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