Recently at Project Swole there has been some discussion of post-workout nutrition. I typically recommend Biotest Surge but several people in the last 6 months or so have suggested chocolate milk. The reality is that chocolate milk really might be the best and cheapest drink you can use post-workout.
In a recent study, novice weightlifters who trained to failure with 3 sets of 6 exercises each day and drank a post-workout supplement immediately after training, gained 5 pounds of muscle in only 8 weeks.
The proof is out there, experts have been touting it for years, and now you just have to accept it: post-workout nutrition is a necessity to maximize muscle growth.
Make sure you drink your post-workout shakes within 20 minutes of finishing your training, in order to take advantage of the most optimal anabolic window for growth. By doing this you will immediately reverse catabolism and kick-start protein synthesis, which puts you in the fast lane, on the highway to muscle recovery.
So, what are your options for a post-workout shake?
Post Workout Nutrition
- It must be a liquid meal. Solid food does not have the same effect as a shake or smoothie because solid food takes much longer to digest.
- It must contain protein and carbs, but not fat. 40 grams of fast acting carbs (sugar) and 20 grams of fast acting protein (whey isolates) is optimal. Fat slows digestion.
- A pint of skim or 1% chocolate milk has recently been suggested by the results of several studies as the best post workout nutrition option
- Boost or a similar low-fat meal replacement drink is another option, however Boost does have 5 grams of fat per serving
- Biotest Surge Recovery is just about the best post-workout drink available, possibly even better than chocolate milk
- You can build your own recipe at the Protein Factory if you know what you are doing; do your research before trying this option, or just go with chocolate milk
- A small serving of one of those sugary mass-gainer supplements is an option too, but not recommended