Post-Workout Nutrition: What to eat and drink?
Going to the gym or waking up early to go on that run can feel like such an accomplishment but did you know that post-workout routines are just as important to your fitness routine when it comes to recovery? More specifically, your post-workout meal is key in providing your body with the nutrients that it needs to recover.
I’m not sure about you, but no one ever told me about what to eat after a workout or that it was even important. I always assumed the focus was on what you ate before a workout. So yes, my pre-workout meal was always nutrient dense and my morning coffee always contains collagen and MCT oil in it (using our KETO Collagen + MCT formula) but I was missing a vital component when it came to recovery and my post-workout habits, or lack thereof.
To fully understand the importance of replenishment and post-workout nutrition, we need to understand how exercise and physical activity affects our body. During any physical activity, muscles are being fueled by glycogen stores, a reserve that your body has saved from the consumption of carbohydrates. As your body uses glycogen as fuel, your muscles are simultaneously being depleted of the same source. So the same way we need to refuel our vehicles, we need to do all that we can to refuel our bodies.
As we have mentioned several times before, our bodies work very hard for us and will actually attempt to repair and recover on its own but there are several ways that you can actually assist your body with recovery. By eating a protein dense snack/meal, you are providing your body with the essential building blocks to do its thing! Also, can we just take a quick moment to appreciate all of the things our body does for us?!
So let’s explore some different avenues we can take to make sure we are replenishing our body properly. It must also be noted that any post-workout routine should take place within 30 minutes to an hour of your exercise routine.
The Pro’s of Protein
It’s super important to consume adequate amounts of protein after a workout to ensure that you have the proper building blocks required to repair the old muscle tissue and build new muscle. Research has shown that consuming 20-40 grams of protein maximizes the ability to recover after exercise (1,2).
Counting on Carbs
As mentioned, glycogen is used as fuel during exercise. By consuming unrefined carbohydrates after exercise, you are helping to replenish those glycogen stores. Depending on the activity and intensity of exercise, will determine the rate at which the glycogen stores are used. Endurance sports like running or swimming use up more glycogen stores then resistance training. So, if you participate in endurance sports, you may need to consume more carbohydrates than someone who mainly focuses on resistance training. It is recommended that post-workout you consume 0.5-0.7 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within 30 minutes to 1 hour of working out to aid in needed glycogen synthesis (3).
- Scrambled eggs with toast
- Plain Greek yogurt with fruit
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Hummus with pita
- Tuna sandwich on whole grain bread
- Whole grain toast with a serving of nut butter
- Whole grain wraps with turkey and avocado
- Rice crackers with a serving of a nut butter
- A fruit smoothie made with Collagen Hydrolysate or Collagen Endurance Plus (see recipe below)
- Oatmeal with fruit and nuts and drizzle of MCT oil
- Water with Collagen Endurance Plus
2 bunches kale - destemmed & chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup mandarin segments
3 tablespoons pecans
3 tablespoons sprouted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons sprouted sunflower seeds
Rosemary Mandarin Dressing
½ cup olive oil
½ cup mandarin juice
¼ cup lemon juice
1-2 tablespoon Great Lakes Gelatin MCT Oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Destem the kale and slice into thin pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the olive oil and lemon over the kale and start to massage to soften the kale for a few minutes.
Mix in the pomegranate seeds, mandarins, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of each to garnish the top of the salad when done.
Slice apple into thin slices with a mandolin or knife. Use a spoon to remove any seeds or core. Arrange the apples on the salad in fan shapes.
Top the salad with any remaining ingredients.
Option to add grilled rosemary steak or chicken or keep it plant-based and add some hearty roasted veggies.
For the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in blender or food processor and mix until emulsified.
Top with Rosemary Mandarin Dressing and enjoy!
Another great way to make sure that your body has the proper tools for recovery is by incorporating a supplement that will deliver these nutrients for you, because let’s be real…how many of us really have time to eat directly after the gym? Collagen Endurance Plus is a great supplement to help support joint and muscle health while providing pre-workout support AND post-workout recovery. This particular formula contains collagen and B-vitamins, both of which are key in assisting your body to restore its glycogen stores. The best part about this supplement is the convenience that comes along with it. Leave it in your gym bag and add a scoop or two to your water as soon as you’ve completed your workout…easy peasy! On days you have a little extra time, you can even make a Power Smoothie using the Collagen Endurance Plus supplement.
1 ¼ cups almond milk
4 ice cubes
4 strawberries, hulled
2 scoops Great Lake Gelatin Collagen Endurance Plus
1 tablespoon unsalted natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Blend almond milk, ice cubes, banana, strawberries, avocado, collagen endurance plus, cocoa powder, and peanut butter in a blender on low speed.
Gradually turn speed up to high and blend until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds.
Serve in a glass, and shave or grate dark chocolate on top.
So whether you are replenishing with the help of a collagen like our Collagen Endurance Plus or whipping up a recovery snack, it’s important to make sure that we are attempting to consume a proper amount of nutrients after a workout. And make sure to hydrate before, during and after your workout for the best results. Here is to your workout wellness and recovery!
- Biolog G, Tipton KD, Klwin S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997; 273(1):E122-9.
- Tipton KD, Ferrando AA, Phillips SM, Doyle D Jr, Wolfe RR. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol. 1999; 276 (4): E628-34.
- Kerksick C, Harvey T, Stout J, Campbell B, Wiborn C, Kreider R, Kalman D, Ziegenfuss T, Lopez H, Landis J, Ivy JL, Antonio J. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008; 5:18.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Nor is it intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a medical professional. Individual results may vary.