Questions Answered…

So , this week I was asked a question.

What’s best to eat after a good solid training session, either weights or cardio?  Would you prefer to use supplements I.e “whey” or whole food?

So my thoughts… We all have different reasons for training, whether it be to increase strength, improve endurance or just to look feckin awesome. The key to reaching your goal is fuel (fuel meaning food). Understanding your pre or post workout nutrition can be difficult. So many different views and opinions.

Why is post training nutrition important?

After a hard workout you can use up all your stored glycogen (a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates), easily sweat 2 litres of water and also break down muscle. For these reasons, what you consume after training is crucial to your recovery.

Recovery = The act of regaining or returning towards a normal or healthy state.

So, what should we eat?

Protein. Protein after exercise will help to repair and build muscle tissue. Getting enough protein after workouts will help stimulate protein synthesis, which is the creation of new muscle. But… should I have a protein powder or real whole food??? Well… in my opinion… either! There is no real evidence to prove that powders, especially the fast digestion kinds are any better for us than whole food protein after training. So chose whichever is best for you at that time.

Want fast and convenient… make a shake using a good quality Whey Isolate.

Have time… make an awesome high protein meal. Any quality complete protein will do the job. Around 40-60g (2 x palm size) for men and 20-30g (1 x palm size) for women.

Carbs (carbohydrates). We see everything from sweets, cereal to donuts being consumed, to ‘spike’ insulin and restore glycogen as quick as possible. But, in my opinion, it is better to get a blend of less processed whole foods along with fruit. This will help restore glycogen equally over the next 24 hours. With a good balanced daily diet. Carbohydrates may be useful for recovery in some scenarios, such as when you need to recover quickly between workouts. However, when it comes to repairing or building muscle through the stimulation of protein synthesis, the researchers said more research is warranted. At present, there is no evidence to support the claim that post-workout carbs in any ratio are needed for protein synthesis. Protein seems to be enough on its own.

While nutrition timing is important to some athletes, most of us should just be concerned with hitting our maintenance calories over the 24 hours. We are not always fortunate enough to have time to sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal after a workout, especially if training before work. This is where preparation is key (Read Adams blog on food Prep).

While I don’t tend to take or advise a great deal of supplements, Whey Protein added to a shake or yoghurt is a quick and east snack, helping you get your daily intake of protein. Either post workout or anytime throughout the day. A great addition to any kitchen.