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The first thing that must be pointed out is that recovery from workouts is all the time in between workouts, not just the pre/post workout meal. All nutritional efforts are individual and it is important to pay attention to what foods make you recover the best in between workouts.
#1 Timing- (morning workout, mid-day, evening etc.). For example, if you are working out first thing in the morning it might be tough to stomach an entire large breakfast and a liquid option like a protein shake or coffee shake might be a better option.
#2 Intensity- (Heavyweight training, sport-specific exercise, HITT, long duration endurance). For the more intense workouts, it is important to have proper fuel in your system to avoid fatigue.
Post workout Considerations:
#1 Timing- If it is a higher intensity workout you want to make sure to get in a mix of fast- absorbing carbohydrates as well as high-quality protein in order to replenish glycogen stores as well as stimulate protein synthesis. This is best achieved in a recovery formula like biosteel.com/ recovery. Great post workout meal with a combination of complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato etc.), quality protein (chicken, fish or plant-based source etc.), and fiber-rich vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens etc.)
#2 Goals- (sport specific performance-based, muscle gain, fat loss etc.).
Additional considerations for post workout:
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) Benefits
- Improves lean muscle mass by helping to trigger protein synthesis and inhibit the breakdown of muscle.
- Improve glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity which is crucial for muscle building and fat loss.
- Helps to improve muscles energy production
- Improves muscle soreness and recovery by decreasing fatigue.
- Has significant benefits on digestion by improving absorption of nutrients in our intestinal tracts
- Promotes muscle growth and decrease muscle wasting
- Improves athletic performance and strength
- Helps to decrease fatigue after intense workouts
As a final note, pay attention to what works best for you. Try different macronutrient combinations and track your progress. It also must be mentioned that there are a lot of factors when it comes to achieving our goals in the gym, getting a proper sleep, managing stress/the nervous system and practicing in other recovery modalities is important to optimize your results.