There is a plethora of information on the interwebs when it comes to nutrition advice.
Everyone claims to have the secret tip or biohack that will make you bigger, smaller, or more of…well whatever it is your goal happens to be. The marketing gimmicks are endless.
Nutrition is a highly individualized journey. There are certainly some wrong answers out there but when it comes to what is right for you the answer could be totally unique. Finding an overall nutrition strategy that fits your goals and lifestyle is essential if you want to have success. If you’re not sure where to begin then start by finding a certified coach who can help guide you through the process toward healthy eating.
When it comes to post workout recovery there are a few key factors to keep in mind. For healthy individuals performing strength training or other forms of high intensity exercise it is imperative that you consume a healthy post workout meal to replenish glycogen in your muscles and provide ample amino acids for protein synthesis.
In one study at the Norwegian School of Sport Science made cyclists performing time trials to exhaustion (TTE). Immediately post workout the cyclists were given a carbohydrate drink, a carb and protein beverage, or a non caloric placebo. The group who consumed the carbohydrate plus protein beverage significantly outperformed the other two groups when performing a second cycling test just 18 hours after the first. The study suggests that if you train hard multiple days in a row then carbohydrate and protein intake post workout seems to boost subsequent performance.
“Exercise makes carbs your friend” -Charles Poliquin
Cyclists in the study consumed carbs and protein in a 2:1 ratio. This means they consumed twice as many carbs compared to protein. The amount given was based on the body weight of the individuals at a rate of 0.8 g carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight + 0.4 g protein per kilogram of body weight.
In a 175 lb. person this would look like:
0.8 g/kg x (175lb ÷ 2.2kg/lb.) = 64 g Carbohydrate
0.4 g/kg x (175lb ÷ 2.2kg/lb.) = 32 g Protein
In a 130 lb. person this would look like:
0.8 g/kg x (130lb ÷ 2.2kg/lb.) = 48 g Carbohydrate
0.4 g/kg x (130lb ÷ 2.2kg/lb.) = 24 g Protein
You can use this equation to calculate your ideal ratio of carbs and protein to optimize post workout recovery. If you don’t like math, understand the science, or are not a fan of measuring then let’s take a look at some quality food sources that would provide you with the desired amounts of protein and carbs. You can select the weight range you fall in and select the foods that best fit your tastes and lifestyle!
|Food||Grams Carbohydrate||Food||Grams Protein|
|Kiwi||10g/kiwi||Chicken Breast||31g/4oz portion|
|White Rice||45g/cup||Salmon Fillet||28g/4oz portion|
|Food||175 lb person needs||Food||175 lb person needs|
|Kiwi||6 kiwi||Chicken Breast||4 oz portion|
|Apricot||4 cups||Whey Protein||2 tablespoons|
|Pineapple||3 cups||Greek Yogurt||1.25 cups|
|White Rice||1.5 cups||Salmon Fillet||4 oz portion|
|Food||130 lb person needs||Food||130 lb person needs|
|Kiwi||5 kiwi||Chicken Breast||3 oz portion|
|Apricot||3 cups||Whey Protein||1.5 tablespoons|
|Pineapple||2 cups||Greek Yogurt||1 cup|
|White Rice||1 cup||Salmon Fillet||3 oz portion|
Use this as a starting point to tackle your post-workout recovery. The rest of your meals may look very different than this post-workout recovery meal in terms of quantities of protein, fat, carbs as well as the sources you get them from. Working with an experienced nutrition coach is the best way to dial in a plan that works for you.