Post-Workout Nutrition

11 Aug

I spend a good deal of time talking with my customers about post-workout nutrition, as well as overall nutrition strategies.  My parting words – “Eat and Protein” – after a training session, have become somewhat of a (good-natured) running joke between my high school and college student-athletes and me.  I always impress upon my clients that it’s important to refuel, rebuild, and rehydrate after every workout, practice, and game.  Additionally, remember that your body needs protein and carbohydrates after a workout.

As a rule, your post-workout nutrition should be consumed about 15-60 minutes following training or competition; you should aim for 20-24 ounces of fluid per pound lost during exercise; and you want to ensure that you get an appropriate carbohydrate to protein ratio.

In terms of post-workout nutrition composition, research supports a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein:

  • 2:1 ratio for short, low-to-medium intensity workout
  • 3:1 ratio for longer, harder sessions (extra carbs help refuel your depleted energy stores)
  • 15-30 grams of protein and 30-90 grams of carbs before and after your workout

As stated earlier, your post-workout nutrition should incorporate these three components:

  • Refuel – carbs, protein, fluid, and rest
  • Rebuild – aim for about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, per day
  • Rehydrate – drink water every day; your performance needs include electrolyte replacement (I like AdvoCare REHYDRATE Electrolyte Replacement Drink – it’s nutritionally superior to most other sports drinks)

If you’re looking for a simple, portable post-workout beverage, research indicates that a 16-18 oz. glass of “chocolate milk may be as effective as or superior to” other (commercial) sports recovery beverages, in promoting recovery. (Spaccarotella and Andzel; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research) While I don’t encourage drinking chocolate milk indiscriminately (too much sugar), the 3:1 carb to protein ratio makes it an ideal exercise recovery drink.  For more information about the science behind chocolate milk, check out this link: Got Chocolate Milk?

If you’re not incorporating smart post-workout nutrition strategies into your plan, you’re sabotaging your results, and compromising your goals.  Your thoughts?

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12 Responses to “Post-Workout Nutrition”

  1. Rouble Narine September 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM #

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    • Brian Lebo September 19, 2012 at 9:56 PM #

      Thank you for returning, and for the kind words… I invite you to follow my blog, please share it with others, and provide feedback anytime!

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    • Brian Lebo October 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM #

      Thanks for the feedback and kind words! More on the way. Please follow my blog and share with others.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. If You Want to Get Bigger, You’ve Got to Get Stronger « Athletic Performance Training Center - October 31, 2012

    […] your workout:  Observe healthy pre- and post-workout […]

  2. What Are You Doing Outside the Gym? | Athletic Performance Training Center - October 9, 2013

    […] There’s no need to be extreme or fanatical about what you eat, but your diet may be the single-most important aspect of your strength and fitness regimen.  You can drive a Ferrari but it won’t perform optimally on crappy fuel.  Same goes for your body.  The quantity of your dietary intake is important — you need an adequate and appropriate number of calories to consistently be at your best.  The quality of the foods you eat is equally important.  Your meals and snacks should be well-balanced, each incorporating clean carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein.  Check out my blog posts on pre- and post-workout nutrition. […]

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    […] your nutritional choices help to ensure that you will have adequate energy to perform optimally.  Afterward, the proper balance of nutrients helps with your body’s recovery process, preparing your body […]

  4. What Are You Doing Outside the Gym? | Athletic Performance Training Center - January 27, 2017

    […] There’s no need to be extreme or fanatical about what you eat, but your diet may be the single-most important aspect of your strength and fitness regimen.  You can drive a Ferrari but it won’t perform optimally on crappy fuel.  Same goes for your body.  The quantity of your dietary intake is important — you need an adequate and appropriate number of calories to consistently be at your best.  The quality of the foods you eat is equally important.  Your meals and snacks should be well-balanced, each incorporating clean carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein.  Check out my blog posts on pre- and post-workout nutrition. […]

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