Its safe to say that if your nutrition isn't on point- your gruelling sessions in the gym are pointless.
After training it is important to eat foods that promote the rapid delivery of nutrients to your muscle in order to reduce protein breakdown and rebuild/repair the muscle. To achieve this, foods should be easy to digest and easy to absorb.
Fats slow digestion and should be avoided post-workout.
Pictured: Eddy Ung smashing out some barbell curls!
You will often find that most bodybuilders smash carbohydrates after training, however it is important to note that new studies question the importance of carbohydrate consumption post-workout. Results of recent studies have shown that post-workout meals of protein & carbohydrate showed little improvement in muscle breakdown and little increase in protein balance compared to protein alone.
The insulin response to carbohydrate intake is well documented, and these newer studies did not consider carbohydrates independently to protein post-workout, so we have included carbohydrate sources in this blog. Insulin is important for shuttling carbohydrates and protein in to the muscle.
So what are the best things to eat after training?
- Protein hyrdolysates or isolates
- Lean meat i.e. white fish, chicken breast, kangaroo meat, turkey, tuna
- Low fat milk
- Low fat yoghurt
- Low fat cottage cheese
- High GI foods i.e. potato, white rice, white bread, rice cakes, maltodextrin, dextrose
- Low fat cereals
- Orange juice
We would be interested to know what you like to eat post-workout, so comment below with your suggestions!
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Staples AW, Burd NA, West DW, Currie KD, Atherton PJ, Moore DR, Rennie MJ, Macdonald MJ, Baker SK, Phillips SM: Carbohydrate does not augment exercise-induced protein accretion versus protein alone.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011, 43(7):1154-61.
Koopman R, Beelen M, Stellingwerff T, Pennings B, Saris WH, Kies AK, Kuipers H, van Loon LJ:Coingestion of carbohydrate with protein does not further augment postexercise muscle protein synthesis.
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2007, 293(3):E833-42
Moore DR, Robinson MJ, Fry JL, Tang JE, Glover EI, Wilkinson SB, Prior T, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM: Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men.
Am J Clin Nutr 2009, 89(1):161-8.