Post Workout Nutrition

I know exactly what you are thinking, “really Steve, another nutrition post?” Well, my answer to that is, can you really have too many nutrition posts? In the world I live in, no. I see all sorts of bad nutritional habits every day. Whether its skipping breakfast, or eating canned food or microwave dinners, until it stops I will post on, America! I also have not focused specifically on post workout nutrition before, and considering that what you consume immediately following a workout is going to be your most important nutrition of the day, that’s a pretty good reason right there.

Yes, I said it, and I will say it again. What you consume immediately following a workout is the most important thing you will consume all day. 

This is because immediately after a workout, your metabolism is in overdrive and your body is about as revved up as it is ever going to be. Your body is primed to absorb all the goodness you put into it and use it to refuel and rebuild. It’s time to think twice about what you put in your body after a grueling workout. Watch, read, and learn below.

And as per usual, the all important summary.

Important Nutrients for Recovery

  • Protein
    • Needed to rebuild damaged muscle
    • Whey protein is far superior to casein protein for immediate recovery
    • Amino acid profile is important
      • Leucine is primary amino acid in driving protein synthesis
      • Whey protein comes from animal sources
      • Vegan protein blends are okay because they are supplemented with leucine
        • Vegan protein blends can be easier to digest than whey
    • How much protein?
      • ~20g, 0.7g/lb BW
      • Less protein is needed the more fit you are
  •  Carbohydrates
    • Refuel stored energy
    • Types of carbs
      • Fast, high GI carbohydrates are best immediately after
        • Want to increase insulin levels and create a spike in blood sugar levels
      • Varying the source of fast carbs in important
        • Better absorption
      • 2-4 hours after, moderate-low GI carbs can be ingested to continue storage process for extended period of time
    • How many carbs?
      • 2:1 carb to protein ratio
      • 80-110g/hr, or 0.54g/lb/hr for first 4 hours post
      • Adding carbs to protein consumption increases recovery
  •  Vitamins
    • Excess needed to support physical demands of sport
    • Athletes use more vitamins than non-athletes
      • Vitamins play a role in energy production, rebuilding, storage and recovery
      • A full spectrum of vitamins is recommended for athletes in higher amounts that general public
      • If eating enough to support activity, enough vitamins should be consumed
        • Taking a multivitamin is okay
    • Key Vitamins
      • Vitamin C
      • Vitamin D
      • Vitamin K (to support vit D)
      • B Vitamins
      • Vitamin A
        • Cell growth, immune function
      • Minerals:
        • Zinc, Magnesium, Lycopene


  • Protein – ASAP for best recovery
  • Carbs – ASAP with protein for best results, steady rate for first 4 hours, steady but lower rate for remainder of day
  • Vitamins – ASAP, because most metabolically active

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