Nutrition – Part 3

Now that we have discussed our pre-workout meal and what it should consist of, we need to further educate ourselves on another meal that is very essential to maximize our results - the post-workout meal. When it comes to making progress in and out of the gym, what you consume shortly after the workout is very important. Most gains are not made while working out, but during the recovery stage. Your body utilizes the stored glycogen and breaks down protein during intense physical exercise. In order for your body to recover from a workout, you must give it the proper nutrients to replenish itself. Both protein and carbohydrates should both be consumed after the workout in order for proper recovery to occur.
  It's Friday, you get out of work and you arrive at the gym ready to train and hit the weights hard. You have one of the best workouts you've ever had because you ate a really great pre workout meal, your body is rested and hydrated, you were focused and intense and gave it all you had. You are feeling great about how hard you trained, so you decide to reward yourself. You go home to shower and go out to the bar to meet up with some friends for drinks and dinner. Two hours have passed and the first thing you consume is a cocktail. Now, all the hard work you put into your workout is almost wasted at this point. If nothing is done about the protein breakdown within an hour after training and the muscle that you could have gained during this time period is lost. 
After a workout, there is a one hour window when it's best to consume your post-workout meal, to replenish your now-depleted glycogen and to take advantage of your hard work. The best options are food sources that will enter your system as quickly as possible. When it comes to carbs, a sugar-based source is more adventageous post-workout because your glycogen stores have been completely emptied. To help the muscles to recover quickly, your best bet is a high carbohydrate meal that causes your blood sugar levels to rise. High blood sugar levels will cause large amounts of insulin to be released by the pancreas. Insulin binds itself to the muscle cell receptors and enhances the entry of glucose into the muscle cells. A more complex carbohydrate that does not consist of sugar is going to take much longer to get broken down. Remember you muscles are starving and you want to feed them as soon as possible. 
Not only do we need to feed our starving muscles after the workout, but it is also crucial to take in some protein to stimulate protein synthesis. You have a pretty short window of opportunity to maximize your gains, so I would recommend a protein source that is fast digesting like a whey protein. Axis Labs makes a great tasting protein - Clutch - that is 100% whey and includes whey isolate, micro ultra-filtered whey concentrate, whey peptides, and all the essential amino acids needed daily that promotes serious muscle growth. Mixing a scoop or two of whey in the blender with some fruit can be a the perfect post workout meal. Adding a high quality post-workout meal that consists of those two vital ingredients will allow you to maximize your time and increase your gains, which is something we're all after.