One of the most important nutritional steps you need to take after getting started on a workout program is making sure you have a good post-workout nutrition protocol in line.
Many people completely overlook their post workout nutrition because they’re either too tired from that hard gym session to think about preparing food or because they’re rushing back to the office or wherever they happen to be going next.
But, if you skip over this post-workout shake, you’re literally taking away from the progress that you could be seeing.
Post-workout nutrition is vital to success and one of the key elements that makes sure it can do what it needs to for you is getting it in at the right time.
Let’s have a quick peak into what you should consider when preparing this post workout meal or shake.
The first thing that you need to take into account is when you’re planning on having this shake or meal. For the best results possible, you want to aim to eat as soon as you can after the workout session. This is when the muscle cells will be highly ‘primed’ to take up any nutrition that you feed them, so when what you eat is going to most impact them in a positive way.
While you can shower first if you’d prefer, don’t wait for hours to get this meal or shake in or it won’t be nearly as effective. Within 30 minutes of your workout’s end should be your goal.
The Nutrient Make-Up
Next, you also need to consider the nutrient make-up. What should this shake consist of?
For best results, opt for proteins and carbs, not fats. Fats are only going to slow the digestion process down of the meal, which is not what you want at this time. Instead, protein will supply the amino acids your muscles need in order to make a quick repair, while the carbs will provide the energy that you need to recover as well as replenish the muscle glycogen that was used during the session.
The Calorie Level
Finally, the last must to consider is what your calorie level should be of that meal. This is highly going to depend on what your overall goals are right now.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you won’t have as many calories in your daily diet to spend, so you won’t be able to have quite as high calorie of a post-workout meal. If you’re someone who’s focused hard on muscle building, that meal will be very high in calories while with fat loss, the lower end would be more reasonable.
What you do need to remember though is that you should never take it too low. Even if you are looking to lose fat rapidly, remove calories from other areas of the day if you must, not post-workout. That will just slow your results.
Most fat loss dieters should aim for around 200-300 calories while those seeking muscle gain can aim for 400-600 calories instead. So there you have the primary things to note about your post-workout nutrition. Make sure you aren’t missing out on it.
The Ectomorph Diet
While nutrition is crucial to any fitness program and defines its success to a great level, there is also the ectomorph diet for fitness freaks of the same category. In case you are dreaming of that perfectly sculpted body, then the ectomorph pre and post -workout diet plan has an immediate impact on the muscles. Here, the nutrients have a double-edged effect: They prepare the body for the workout when taken ninety minutes before hitting the gym and the food taken one and a half hours after working out helps build muscles. When you resort to regular weight lifting, microscopic tears happen inside the muscles. Nutrients help repair such tears when you sleep and post-workout diet should include carbohydrates that are absorbed fast, particularly glycogen.
Fruits are the best source of natural glycogen. Bananas are strongly recommended because they are rich in not only glycogen but potassium, too. Alternately, a large glass of fresh fruit juice comprising various fruits is also advisable. Commercial protein supplements may be consumed also because they are manufactured according to a scientific formula and are more balanced. They are also cheaper than fresh fruit juices. Proteins should be a must in your post workout diet because they form the foundation for building muscles.
Your diet should, therefore, consist of ample quantities of eggs, fish and lean meats which usually get absorbed into the blood over a period of time. Drinking a high protein drink after working out is highly recommended as it gets absorbed quickly and doesn’t overload the digestive system. For ectomorph bodybuilders, there are no special ectomorph supplements as such, so the best choice would be to go for any reliable protein supplement brand available in the market after choosing the flavor you like. Commercial protein supplements are recommended because they are not only cheaper but one tablespoonful contains a balanced quantity of nutrients and can be taken in measured doses.
The ectomorph protein diet also recommends drinking a milk shake using egg whites in their raw form. Try drinking a carbohydrate-protein drink, within thirty minutes of working out and a regular meal within an hour or an hour and a half at the most. A lean beef sandwich or chicken with potatoes or rice can be eaten also. While working out in the evenings, make sure that you don’t overeat and overload the stomach. Overeating before hitting the bed makes sleep shallow, and this is a deterrent for releasing vital growth hormones that relax and build your muscles.
In sum, diet is as much an inextricable part of any fitness program as lifting weights, doing cardios, aerobics, martial arts and general weight training are. No matter what you do, unless your diet is regimented and monitored, you will never get the results you desire. So for those who are constantly lifting weights for months together and not seeing those muscles bulge yet, the time has come to reassess what you have been eating so far and to reorganize and reprioritize your diet plan. Consult a trained dietician if need be and he will put you on the right track and help you get the body that you always dreamt of. Have no doubts about that!