What’s the most important meal of the day? While breakfast is important to start your day off right, the most important meal if you are exercising is the one you have after your workout.
Think of the post-workout meal as the 3 R’s:
- Recovery – Your muscles breakdown during exercise and have an increased need for protein to begin the recovery process. A fast-absorbed protein such as whey protein is ideal to begin repairing muscles.
- Replenish – You’ve used up your glycogen stores (sugars) during your workout, which causes lower blood sugars and energy levels. A simple carbohydrate (eg: rice cakes, banana, cereals, energy bar, etc) helps to replenish your glycogen stores to refuel you for your next workout.
- Rehydrate – You need to replace the sweat you lost during your workout with water to ensure you stay adequately hydrated. Failure to do this leads to muscle cramps and fatigue from dehydration. Start with 16 ounces of water (2 cups) post-workout. If you sweat buckets, add a bit more.
Do you need to have your post workout meal literally the second you walk out of the gym? No. You don’t have to be that person sitting in their car eating. Ideally you should have your post-workout meal within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. Every person is different for their specific protein and carbohydrate needs. If you need specifics, your coach can set up those numbers for you.
Personally, I love a thick smoothie that has the consistency of a milkshake. I might be biased, but I think it’s better! The measures below are for my personal needs, so adjust accordingly to your needs.
Post Workout PB & Banana Milk Shake
- 1 scoop whey protein powder (I use Cellucor Cor-Performance in peanut butter marshmallow)
- 1 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
- 1 medium banana (riper the better)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup ice
Blend in blender until thick and smooth. This is thick! If you don’t like it as thick, add water.
Nutritional information: 270 calories, 5g fat, 34g carbohydrates, 30g protein