Tried-and-True: The Best Post Workout Recovery Protocol
So, you’ve put in a hard day picking things up and putting them back down, the “things” here being denoted by iron ferrite molded into circular disks. Now you’re at home and craving the old school post workout shake of a scoop of protein mixed in with chocolate milk. But, wait, isn’t chocolate milk supposed to be good for you??
No. Not just no, but hell no. There are so many things wrong with that age-old protocol I don’t even know where to begin. Scratch that, yes, I do! Today, we’ll cover every aspect of post workout recovery that the average gym goer needs. Easy now, don’t be insulted by the term “average”. Unless you are a professional whose job depends on being in the absolutely optimal state, the protocols we’ll cover below are more than adequate for your needs!
#1 – Whey Protein (properly proportioned)
Like the subtitle states, properly portioned whey protein is an absolute must after every workout. Whey protein completes two requirements post workout: supplying raw material for your body to use for muscle tissue and to also activate protein synthesis. Without activating protein synthesis, your body will not utilize the protein for tissue repair. It will simply partition the protein towards energy consumption.
A good rule of thumb to follow is 1 scoop for females, and 2 scoops for males. The leucine contained within each scoop is the key ingredient to activating protein synthesis, so the heavier you are, the more leucine you require.
#2 – Carbohydrates (with a caveat)
To simplify this topic, we will focus only on those whose goal is muscle gain. During a cutting phase, it bejuves you to omit carbohydrates in your post workout shake. A topic we’ve covered already in our fat loss content….
Back to the topic at hand, post workout carbohydrates. Like protein, the carbohydrates take care of multiple problems: it reduces cortisol, restores energy, and most importantly, it spikes insulin. Spiking your insulin forces nutrients into your bodies cells to accelerate the repair process. In order to spike your insulin, the carbohydrates need to be simple in nature; however, it cannot be table sugar or fructose (a topic we’ve covered before in our discussions on the types of carbohydrates).
One of your best sources is actually Uprise Nutrition’s RECOVER. A simple carbohydrate supplement like this is perfect for spiking insulin and restoring energy levels. Since this is a starch based carb, its energy will be partitioned into your muscles, unlike the table, and lactose, sugars found in chocolate milk which will only fill up your liver energy stores (yes, your liver stores a large amount of energy).
#3 – Electrolytes
After an intense workout, your body will have generated a great deal of byproducts such as lactate (lactic acid). To reduce the amount of acid in your muscles, your body will consume nutrients from wherever possible. If you do not supply your body with the electrolytes it requires, it will pull them from your muscles. Like protein, if your muscles lack electrolytes, you simply cannot perform at your best.
A product I highly recommend is KTS Synerplex. This product contains adequate portions of all of the electrolytes in highly bio-available forms, meaning your body can almost immediately utilize the nutrients.
#4 – Greens/Anti-Oxidants.
A rarely utilized aspect of nutrition, consuming greens or anti-oxidants in some manner is vital to proper performance and recovery. A greens powder can help reduce inflammation and cortisol, but can be pricey and lackluster in taste (to put it mildly). An easier method for some, albeit expensive as well, is to consume foods high in anti-oxidants, such as berries. Berries are packed full of nutrients, but are low in fructose so there is little chance you will pack on fat when consuming these fruits post workout.
Remember, an inflamed body is an angry body. It will become disobedient to your demands, and fail you when you need it most. Like a Corvette, your body needs only the BEST fluids and treatment when not squeeling those pretty tires!