What is the Best Post Workout Nutrition?

Posted September 2, 2010 in Fitness Tips, Nutrition Tip 1 Comment »
Swole Fitness Tips

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.

The Study

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 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

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One Response to “What is the Best Post Workout Nutrition?”

  1. Ahhhh, my favorite thing to obsess about. Lol

    I have gone absolutely bonkers over post workout-nutrition, because i feel that if you are eating normally throughout the day, there really isn’t much you need to bust it out in the gym (i.e. pre-workout stuff).

    That being said, everything you described was spot on with what i have read about PW nutrition. You need FAST protein (Whey or a Whey-Blend) Carbs with no strings attached (I use a Waxy Maize supplement) and lastly, this is if you have the extra money to spend, both essential and non-essential Amino Acids (Glutamine, and the BCAA’s). I feel if you eat (or drink, however you want to imagine it) a PW shake consisting of these things you will do your body a HUUUUGE favor.

    Also, i think it is important for people to understand that if you want to maintain that Amino Acid “trickle” in your bloodstream throughout the day, you should ingest slow-digesting proteins such as Casein (Optimum sells a cheap one) that will help keep you feeling full, and supply your muscles with those Amino Acids they need to rebuild for most of the day, not just 2.5-3 hours like Whey (which is why it is suited so well for PW).

    Great Post Steve!!

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