Post Workout Nutrition

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Post Workout Nutrition: Secrets to a Ripped, Lean Body by Michael Geary

As you've probably heard before, your post-workout meal may very
well be your most important meal of the day. The reason is that
when you're finished with an intense workout, you're entering a
catabolic state where your muscle glycogen is depleted and increased cortisol levels are beginning to excessively break down muscle tissue. These conditions are not good and the only way to reverse this catabolic state (and promote an anabolic state) is to consume a quickly digestible post-workout meal as soon as you can after training. The goal is to choose a meal with quickly digestible carbs to replenish muscle glycogen as well as quickly digestible protein to provide the amino acids needed to jump start muscular repair. The surge of carbohydrates and amino acids from this quickly digested meal promotes an insulin spike from the pancreas, which shuttles nutrients into the muscle cells.

The post-workout meal should generally contain between 300-500
calories to get the best response. For example, a 120-lb female
may only need a 300-calorie meal, whereas a 200-lb male may need
a 500-calorie post-workout meal. Your post-workout meal should
also contain anywhere from a 2:1 ratio of carbs:protein to a 4:1
ratio of carbs:protein. While most of your other daily meals
should contain a source of healthy fats, keep the fat content of
your post-workout meal to a bare minimum, since fat slows the
absorption of the meal, which is the opposite of what you want
after a workout.

When choosing what to make for your post-workout meal, the first
thing to realize is that you DON'T need any of these expensive
post-workout supplement formulations that the magazines (who
advertise for them) will tell you that you absolutely NEED! As
with any nutritional strategies, natural is always better. A
good source of quickly digestible natural carbs such as frozen
bananas, pineapples, raisins, honey, or organic maple syrup are
perfect to elicit an insulin response that will promote muscle
glycogen replenishment and a general anabolic (muscle building)
effect. The best source of quickly digestible protein is a quality non-denatured whey protein isolate and/or some fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Here are a couple ideas for delicious post-workout smoothies that will kick start your recovery process:

Chocolate Banana - blend together 1 cup water, ½ cup skim milk,
one and a half frozen bananas, 2 tbsp organic maple syrup, and
30 grams chocolate whey protein powder - 38 g prot, 72 g carb,
0.5 g fat, 440 calories.

Pineapple Vanilla - blend together 1 cup water, ½ cup vanilla
yogurt, one cup frozen pineapples, 2 tbsp honey (preferably
raw), and 30 grams vanilla whey protein powder - 35 g prot, 71 g
carb, 0.5 g fat, 425 calories.

When looking to lose body fat, keep in mind that post-workout
meals should have the opposite characteristics of all of your
other meals throughout each day. While post-workout meals should
have quick high glycemic index carbs, quickly digested proteins,
and minimal fat, all of your other meals throughout the day
should be comprised of low glycemic index, slowly digested
carbs, slow release proteins, and ample healthy fats. These are
powerful strategies towards developing a lean muscular body with
a low body fat percentage. Another great thing about post-workout meals is that you can satisfy even the worst sweet tooth, since this is the one time of the day where you can get away with eating extra sugars without adding to your gut. Instead, it all goes straight to the muscles! Enjoy!

Copyright Michael Geary. to
receive your own personalized metabolic rate calculator as well
as 4 of my secret hard-body workout routines - both FREE, with
no purchase necessary.Michael Geary is a nationally dual certified personal trainer (NCSF-CPT, AFAA-CPT), and author of "The Truth about Six Pack Abs" ©2004-2005.

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