Nutrition & Health OnLine Magazine
The Post Workout Meal
By Davey Dunn
Much is said about getting proper nutrition but not enough is said about the importance of the post workout meal. The meal that you eat immediately following a workout is by far the most important meal that you eat all day. In order to properly recover from your workout it is absolutely essential that you provide your body with the nutrients that are necessary to grow bigger and stronger and the post workout meal is the best opportunity that you have to feed your body.
When you talk about recovery what you are really talking about is replacing the nutrients used during a workout as well a providing your body with plenty of raw material to build new muscle. If you take a moment to think, it makes complete sense that the post workout meal is the most important since you body will immediately begin trying to recover from a workout. You should aid your body as much as possible by eating as soon as you can after you finish your workout. It is essential that your post workout meal take place a maximum of 60 minutes following a workout and preferable sooner.
Once you understand the importance of eating a meal immediately following a workout you can then begin to determine the type of meal that will most aid your body. Different types of training create different demands for nutrients. For instance, a marathon runner will require a higher amount of hydration and complex carbohydrates than other athletes since these two nutrients are highly depleted during endurance training. For a weightlifter there are many demands but the most important nutrients are protein, antioxidants, Creatine and Glutamine. The following supplements are an example of what can be used following an intense weight-training bout like Squats:
50 grams of Protein
50 grams of Complex Carbohydrates
2000 mg of Flax Oil
2000 mg of Vitamin C
1000 mg of Vitamin E
5000 mg of Creatine
2000 mg of Glutamine
There are several products on the market that contain most of the above ingredients. The best we have seen is Lava by Universal Nutrition. When mixed with milk, a serving and a half of Lava will give you over 50 grams of protein and 50 grams of complex carbohydrates as well as providing you with 8000 mg of Creatine and 4000 mg of Glutamine. Vitamin C and Vitamin E can be carried with you in a Gym Bag and taken while you drink your Lava shake. Flax Oil can be purchased in Gel Caps and also be carried to the Gym and taken with your Lava. If the Gym where you train does not provide Lava or an equivalent drink then you best option is to pre-mix the Lave shake and keep it in a cooler where you can easily obtain it when you workout ends.
As you can see, the post workout meal is not that hard to put together but it does take some effort and planning. The benefits of the added effort far outweigh the costs and will pay high dividends in the long run. On the other hand, not making the effort to eat a good meal is like wasting part of your workout. Start getting the most from your workouts by planning a proper post workout meal and then make the effort to eat that meal as soon as you can following your workout.

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