There’s a lot of contradictory information about workout nutrition. It’s nearly impossible to figure out how much protein to take or if carbs are beneficial, let alone whether other supplements can improve your results. This list cuts through the confusion and gives you the bottom line on what to eat and what to avoid after training so that you achieve your goals.
#1: Whey Protein (20 g) Helps You Meet Daily Protein Goal
Whey protein is a superior protein source for recovery, providing the greatest array of amino acids for protein synthesis. It improves insulin sensitivity and has a high thermic effect, making it beneficial for anyone whose goal is fat loss.
#2: Post-Workout Is The Best Time To Eat Higher Carb Foods
Intense exercise depletes muscle glycogen, which is the storage form of carbs, while simultaneously making the muscle more sensitive to insulin. This makes post-workout the perfect time to enjoy higher carb foods if you want to include them in your diet.
#3: Favor High-Quality Carbs—No Sports Drinks
Saying that post-workout is the ideal time to get your carbs doesn’t mean that you should load up on refined junk food or sports drinks. Compared to boiled grains, sweet potatoes, and starchy vegetables, refined carbs lack nutrition and easy to overeat, making it harder to hit calorie goals for the day.
#4: Avoid Coffee & Caffeine
Drinking caffeinated coffee before training can boost mood, reduce muscle soreness post-workout, and help you get the most out of your workout. But after training is the worst time to drink coffee because caffeine spikes cortisol, which is the opposite of what you want post-workout. Instead, eat vitamin C-rich foods to help the body metabolize cortisol for a faster recovery.
#5: Drink Water With Electrolytes
Without adequate electrolyte minerals, consuming water does little to rehydrate you. That’s because the body requires the electrolytes sodium and potassium in the right ratio in order to improve cellular water balance and restore hydration after a punishing workout. Salting your meals or cooking with meat broths can help, but most hard charging trainees will benefit from adding an electrolyte supplement to their water.
#6: Eat Blueberries & Tart Cherries For Less DOMS
Dark colored fruits like blueberries and tart cherries can accelerate recovery after you thrash your muscles, whether from lifting massive loads of doing repeated sprints. Consume them separately from whey protein (give it at least a 30 minute window) because dairy proteins can inhibit absorption of antioxidants.
#7: Eat Cruciferous Vegetables For Estrogen Protection
The cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage provide phytonutrients that help the body metabolize excess estrogen. They also provide vitamin C and other antioxidants that allow the body to offset inflammation produced during killer workouts.
#8: Improve Overnight Muscle Building With A Bedtime Protein Snack
Research shows that consuming 40 grams of high-quality protein before bedtime increases protein synthesis by 25 percent and sustains it all night long for greater muscle building. Depending on your preferences, Greek yogurt, a whey protein shake, or other complete protein will do the trick.
#9: Get EPA/DHA Fish Oil To Improve Blood Flow & Fight Inflammation
The omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, which are provided in fish oil may accelerate recovery by improving delivery of nutrients to damaged muscle. Fish oil can reduce inflammation, improve protein synthesis, and boost insulin sensitivity.
#10: Calm The Central Nervous System With Taurine, Magnesium & ALA
After training, you want to do everything you can decrease sympathetic nervous activity for a faster recovery and restful sleep. Consuming an antioxidant-rich diet and getting extra stress-fighting nutrients like taurine, magnesium, and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can counter inflammation, while calming the CNS.