During a somewhat intense workout lasting 45 minutes or more ( Sorry but walking the dog does not count!) your body uses a good amount of stored glycogen for energy production. And the more intense the workout, the more microscopic muscle tears your existing muscle mass will suffer.
This process of stressing your body in order to become stronger, leaner, faster works well but is best accomplished when recovery from each workout is fast and complete. As an athlete/coach, I know you will see the best performance improvements by allowing your body to recover well between each workout!
Extensive research has showed that one of the easiest way to help your metabolism recover faster is to drink a mix of simple carbohydrates and easily absorbable protein as soon as possible after the workout.
This “window of faster recovery” begins right after the workout ends and is open for about 45 minutes max! During this short time post-workout, your muscle’s cells are primed to accept/intake nutrients which will stimulate muscle repair and growth.
It is best to ingest a liquid mix compared to solid food since your digestive system has a much easier time digesting the carbs and protein in liquid format and your muscles cell will get their “repair fix” quicker!
As mentioned before, the 2 most important ingredients of this “post workout drink” are :
- Simple carbohydrates: blended banana, mango, fruit juice, Gatorade,…
- Powered protein: My favorite is whey protein isolate, which has one of the highest BV rating(Biological Value: amount of protein retained in the body per gram of protein absorbed) but I also sometimes use more “plant based protein” like Vega, which is more suitable for people who are Vegan than Whey Isolate.
When my workout finishes at home and close to my blender. I prepare what I believe to be my perfect post workout drink which consist of:
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 banana
- 30 grams whey protein isolate (chocolate is my favorite)
- 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate (Creatine helps to supply energy to all muscles cell in the body)
- 5 grams of L-Glutamine (Enhances Muscle Cell Volume & Protects Against Muscle Breakdown)
While I drink this mix, I can feel my body getting stronger and I know I will be ready for the next workout!
When I am away, I sometimes bring the necessary ingredients/blender with me or I can always find chocolate milk in a grocery store. And nowadays, many stores also carries other brands of protein shakes. Simply read the ingredients and get the drink, which has, at least, a 2 to 1 carbs to protein ratio.
Numerous studies have proved that rapid post-workout nutrition provides many benefits to athletes:
- Increased muscle glycogen replenishment
- Decreased protein breakdown
- Improved overall recovery
- Less muscle soreness
- Improved immune function
- List goes on..
We are all looking for increased/improved performance right? Give your body the help it needs and start drinking a recovery drink right after your next workout!
Train Smarter – Not Harder!