Quick question for you, what do you do for nutrition post-workout?
If the answer is “nothing”, a piece of fruit, or you just wait to eat at your next meal …then this message is important for you!
When you exercise, especially strength training, what you are essentially doing is “breaking down” your muscle. Of course the intention of this action is that your muscles will then rebuild stronger than what they were before! However, if you don’t “fuel” your system with proper nutrition post-workout, then you could not only be hindering your body’s ability to build muscle, but also leaving yourself drained and more sore than you should be after your workouts.
After a workout your body needs a combination of 2 things, protein and carbohydrates. The protein is for helping your muscle fibers repair and rebuild more effectively, and the carbohydrates are to restore your body’s energy levels.
Different sources will vary with the length of the “magic window” you need to consume this protein/carb combination, but aiming for as close as possible to end of your workout (or within an hour after you finish) is a good rule of thumb. *However, I WILL note that eating adequate amounts of clean protein throughout your day EVERY day is just as important as post-workout protein, as your body does not “finish” rebuilding within 1-2 hours after exercise. A steady intake of protein throughout your day will ensure your body is able to continue repairing, and minimize muscle soreness.*
Protein shakes (and bars) can be a great way to quickly consume and start absorbing protein/carbs post-workout, especially if you are busy and easily get caught up in work/life/errands as soon as you leave the gym. However, I would note that you REALLY need to read your labels, as all protein bars/powders are NOT created equal. Many of these products have a number of potentially harmful synthetic additives and sweeteners, so make sure you check out those ingredients before you buy!
If bars and shakes aren’t your “thing”, then you certainly can take a “whole foods” approach to your post-workout nutrition as well!
Some ideas would be simple combos like:
- Greek yogurt & Berries
- Small portion of both meat & rice
- Apple & nut-butter
- Hard boiled eggs & a banana
If you’re going to invest the time, money, and effort in to each and every workout, it only makes sense that you would fuel your system to perform at its very best BETWEEN the times you spend in the gym (OK, so maybe now I’m not talking JUST post-workout, but I only say this because nutrition really is THAT important! :-D)
Let us know if you have any questions!!
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. We DO carry both protein bars AND powders at the club. If you’ve been with us for a while I’m sure you know how important clean/high quality food is to us, so I can assure you these brands are the TOP of the line. If you aren’t local and unable to swing by to pick some up, please let us know if you would like more info on the lines we recommend!