Everyday we are hitting the gym to make ourselves better but most of us are not doing what we need to be post workout to recover for tomorrow. I have seen it too many times, someone kills a WOD, racks their weights and heads home. At the very least everyone that exercises needs to have a post workout shake to help them recover from their workout. Here is my recommendation of what should be in your post workout shake so you can fully recover for tomorrow’s workout.
Whey protein is probably the most common post workout supplement. Whey protein is a fast digesting, inexpensive and convenient source of protein. Fast digesting is important because you body is looking to replace and rebuild what it has lost or broken down right away.
Whey protein is milk based so when choosing yours make sure you are getting a reputable brand. Yes the protein at Walmart is cheap but you’ll be sitting on a toilet post workout pretty often if you chose to go cheap.
Your body can handle between 20-25g of protein post workout so it is important that you max that out.
Yes the dreaded carb should be part of your post workout shake. This is probably the most important thing you could have post workout. Carbs help replace glycogen stores, recover the central nervous system and helps control bad hormones like cortisol post workout.
Carbs post workout usually need to be taken within 30 minutes from the time you finish and in a 2:1 loading ratio of Carbs:Protein. So if you are taking 25g of Whey Protein in your post workout shake you need to have about 50g of carbs.
Post workout carbs can be almost anything because when take in the appropriate time they will most likely be stored as glycogen and not as fat. Like choosing a quality protein it is important that you chose quality carbs as well.
Over the years I have used a number of different post workout carbs. My favorite powdered carbs are Vitargo and CytoCarb. One is significantly cheaper than the other but one is significantly better than the other. I regularly use baby food pouches or fruit to hit my post workout carbs. I like the baby food option the best because the pouches are cheap and easy to carry and keep for longer. The old school way of getting carbs is by adding Oats to your shake. Honestly this should be your last resort but is a cheap and pretty convenient way of adding carbs.
Again, if you chose the cheap route you will probably end up in a bad place.
Glutamine & Creatine:
Glutamine & Creatine are two additional supplements that could be added to your post workout shake to help you recover for tomorrow but are not necessary.
Glutamine is an additional amino acid that is not found in your weight protein but it is one of the main amino acids for preventing the breakdown of your muscles. It is a super cheap option and can be found in almost any supplement store or drugstore.
Creatine is the most researched supplement on the market. If you are looking to gain a little size and strength to your muscles this is a must have supplement to your post workout shake. Again this is another cheap supplement that can be found almost anywhere.
Of everything I just listed the most important for recovery is the carbs and that will probably scare people. If you mix them with your protein in the correct ratio and take them within 30 minutes of your workout they will make you feel better the next day and help you see the results you are looking for!
If you would like more information on these supplements, timing your shakes and meals or any general fitness questions shoot me an email! Richard@baywaycrossfit.com