Post-workout nutrition is over-hyped, yet under explained. With all the information we have, we gawk over men’s magazine articles clamoring, “Protein, protein, protein!”. Which leaves me (located in the magazine aisle of your local grocery) fuming and shouting, “WHERE ARE THE CARBS!”. Speaking candidly, carbohydrates–yes, those carbs–are the most misunderstood, under-utilized, and hyper-villainized macronutrient.
Why Carbs? For the Taste and the Science
Yes, all carbs taste good, therefore we must eat all carbs (except banana-nut bread, that stuff is awful). Sound logic, right? While carbohydrates make up some of our most amazing foods, that’s not the sole variable on why we need to include them in our post-workout nutrition. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source of our bodies (keto heroes calm down). When ingested, carbohydrates are converted to glucose, which are then turned into glycogen. That energy (glycogen) is used immediately or is stored for later and depleted during bouts of strenuous activity.
Post-Workout Nutrition Window. Fact or Fiction?
“There’s no such thing as the post-workout nutrition window.” — Bro Science. There’s no greater pleasure, than taking the nutritional advice, your local “natural”, gym celebrity spits out and disproving him or her with what works and is backed by science. After all, there’s a time and place for everything, so why would this exclude our nutrition?
Time for facts, grab a pen, take a screen-shot, or make room in your brain for this game changing mental note.
Consuming 1.0-1.5g (grams)/kg (kilogram) of bodyweight–yes, it’s metric–within 30 minutes of post-workout activity will maximize recovery and replenishment of our depleted glycogen stores. Delaying beyond this, will greatly inhibit how much glycogen is created and restored.
So, You’re Saying Skip the Protein?
No! Protein is essential to the process of rebuilding and repairing broken down muscle tissue. In addition to that, protein powders (along with Viagra and Pre-Workout) are one of the most commonly purchased supplements there is. And we know, leaving out any mention of protein would be sinful to our gain’s god, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Keeping everything in line with ratios. We find that the frequent–not overly intense–gym goer would protein at a ratio of 0.3-0.5g/kg of protein.
Now, here’s the Golden Ratio for the consist gym goer. We would recommend combining both carbohydrates and protein in a ratio of 2:1 (2g carbs:1g protein). If you are a hard core, lunk-alarm triggering, all-around badass, look to take your ratio to 3:1 or 4:1.
Remember, fitness and nutrition advice are generalized to be ingested by the masses. It’s imperative to experiment in order to find what works for you. Take time to get to know your body and once you find that sweet spot…settle-in and work.
Do you have any more tips about post-workout nutrition? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.