The Truth about post workout nutrition supplements
Many experts have spent a lot of time convincing people that in order to build any amount of muscle, you MUST consume a fast-digesting protein shake with carbohydrates immediately post-workout nutrition. If you don’t consume the shake within 30-60 minutes, they say you’ll miss your opportunity to make gains.
That information as a blanket statement is simply not true.
However, that is not to say your post-workout nutrition is not important. The truth is that it really depends on what you eat (or don’t eat) for the rest of the day.
In other words, before worrying about the timing of each meal, you want to first focus on making sure you hit your total daily macro goals. Some people focus on timing their post-workout meals but don’t end up hitting their daily totals. If you don’t hit your daily totals, it makes any emphasis you put on a specific meal irrelevant.
Once you are hitting your daily macros, you can then start to look at when you are consuming each meal. In general, you digest your meals within 1-3 hours of eating, and it is widely recommended that you should eat every 2-3 hours for optimal results.
Your post workout nutrition meal can in fact be important, but its timing is largely based on when you ate your pre-workout nutrition meal. Your pre-workout nutrition meal will also determine how fast you need to get nutrients into your body and whether or not a protein supplement would be most useful.
In short, I suggest following these guidelines for post workout nutrition :
- If You Train Fasted: Consume a shake with fast-digesting protein and carbohydrates during your training or immediately post-workout followed by a whole food meal about an hour later. The main reason for the carbohydrates is just to help reach your daily totals, since your eating window is smaller when you fast.
- If You Eat 1-2 Hours Prior to Training: Consume a post-workout meal within 1-2 hours after. If your stomach prefers a shake or you are unable to eat a whole food meal, a post-workout shake with protein and carbohydrates is fine too.