Thursday, March 08, 2012

Post Workout Nutrition

The post work-out meal is probably the most important meal of the day for anyone who cares about proper nutrition or wants to build muscle, lose fat or improve their body. But there is often confusion over what to eat, if anything at all.

Other than the obvious - water, which is necessary to re-hydrate, the body requires 2 important things after a workout: protein and carbohydrates, however, not fat. Fat slows down digestion, so in this case it would be slowing down the digestion of  much needed protein and carbs. Although 'good' fats are instrumental in building healthy cells, help absorb vitamins and they are good for the brain, the skin and aid in making hormones, there is another time and place to replenish fat than after a workout.

Restoring nutrition typically should take place within an hour after the workout - I usually have my meal about 10-15 minutes after my workout. My favourite post workout meal is a fresh smoothie, because its quick and easy to make plus it is absorbed into the body much quicker than solid protein (meat) or carbs (bread, grains).

I am not a great fan of whey protein powder, instead I prefer to use nut proteins like pumpkin seed or Brazil nut powder. A good rule of thumb for the amount of protein and carbs required is .15-.25g of protein per pound of body weight and .25-.04g of carbs per pound of body weight -for example a person who weighs 140 lbs should take in about 28g of protein and about 45.5g of carbs. 

Pumpkin protein powder is a whole food protein, which unlike other protein powders does not contain additives, fillers, preservatives, wheat, yeast, dairy or sugar. It contains all 18 amino acids including the 10 essential amino acids. It tastes great and easily dissolves into a smoothie.

For added nutrition, I add fat free yoghurt, chia seeds and hemp hearts to my smoothie.

Post Workout Smoothie


2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup non fat yoghurt
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup frozen peaches
25g pumpkin seed protein powder
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp hemp hearts

Place ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

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