As promised after looking at pre workout boost strategies, power breakfast ideas let's have a look at one of the key nutrient intake timing: post workout recovery.
Again what best way to illustrate this than by referring to some real life experiences, my clients. How often do I hear this "Hey coach, I just finished a nice 5km run, heading off for brunch for pancakes, bacon, waffles. I so deserve it!"
and this "I just got an awesome deal on a pre and post workout mix, I know you said best to avoid the preworkout but the post is just pure whey protein isolate with a whole bunch of stuff that's gonna make me strong"
or I also get this "Since I want to get a little leaner I decided not to eat after my gym session this morning, but tonight I was so hungry I had 2 burgers, but overall I didn't overdo it too much on the calories, that's cool right?"
Ok so what do you think? Which one of my clients has it all figured out? Is it the one with the all you can eat licence? Is it the one dosing up on powder? or is it the one just looking at calories and skipping meals then making up at night?
Truth be told it's about getting the formulas right between the macro and micro nutrients as well as based on the timing. Thanks to research, biology, chemisty and labs some amazing scientists have come up with the ideal equation and formula you need. Hooray! Or EUREKA! Here let's take a look:
Easy right? It's all about getting the right amount of carbs and protein and water of course! Follow this formula, correlate it to your energy input and energy output and there you go you will have mastered the art and science of perfect nutrition, or will you? It reminds me of my first ever nutrition course back when I was at high school (yes in France we studied nutrition in chemistry and biology, for a whole semester!!) the thing is we walked in on that exact equation and that was it they'd lost 99% of the attention...
Thankfully back in the 90s and just like today you can turn to media and be sure to find an answer to whatever your question might be. Let us be grateful for all those editorial teams who have dedicated hours of hard working business lunches in tight collaboration with food companies to deliver you with the unique secrets of post workout recovery strategies. Here is a light compilation of what's out there:
There is SO MUCH INFORMATION out there. It's all cluttered, it's all disorganised, it's contradictory, conflicting, confusing, frustrating you name it. Between all the different [fad] diets, the influence of celebrity endorsement and all the editorial content it can feel a little overwhelming. You can easily see why my gym client got sold on the "pure whey protein isolate with a whole bunch of stuff that's gonna make me strong" product, it's likely to be that same sexy sales guy dressed up as a trainer pretending to know everything and caring about your muscles.
With the overwhelming volume of information it can quickly become confusing, frustrating and rather stressful. Now with stress comes emotion which in turn can convert one into the post-exercise-hungry-angry-monster, you know the saying "a hungry man is an angry man" right? And that's how you reach home or jump onto our favourite home delivery app to place an order just like my client who skipped the post workout recovery and made up for it at night with the double-double burger...
So we have the complicated science formula, we have the cluttered overwhelming overdose of influential information available in the press and so a lot of us then tend to think like my 5k runner "finished a nice 5km run, heading off for brunch for pancakes, bacon, waffles. I so deserve it!" what else? Well nothing beats common beliefs or misbeliefs:
Adding to those misbeliefs that exercising is a licence to all you can eat you then have to put up with what people always say to me "oh you exercise so much you can just eat whatever you want it doesn't matter hahaha"... Really? Look I remember when I used to work in advertising and we would pick up a client brief, when the brief was a little "loosey goosey" I'd tell them in the nicest possible way "crap in crap out". Well you know what, it's kinda the same when it comes to your post workout recovery nutrition: if you don't put the right food back in then you can be sure the results are not going to be good or at least definitely not the ones you want.
Similar to the pre-workout boost we looked at the other day: we want to be focusing on real foods. We want to focus on foods which will be health promoting, which will enable you to grow stronger and reach your full potential. Regardless of you being a pro athlete, a golden age or a young adult, to me you are all athletes and you all deserve to be happy to be healthy and to live a long life. So please forget the protein powder, forget the magic pills, forget the making up for all those calories, definitely don't believe the licence to eat.
Really let's try to keep it as simple as possible here, to recover your body is going to need to:
So it should look like a combination of 3 of the below:
What about the quantities? which order?
First things first, I have mentioned this before and to keep it simple I want you to keep in mind the relationship between energy in, energy out, energy back in and link it back to your overarching goal. Someone who just ran a 5k race will not have the same needs as someone who just ran a half marathon. Someone who just did a good hour session will also have different needs.
Here are some suggestions & ideas to what you can eat depending on your activity:
HIIT session: replace energy within 30 minutes of training, optimise muscle tissue repair & rebuild
Strength training: replace energy within 30 to 45 minutes of training, optimise muscle growth (make sure you sleep plenty, growth hormones only work in the dark and while you sleep)
Steady state cardio such as running medium to long distance, cross training: replace energy as soon as you can focusing on hydration and refueling
I love to vary and play with spices, frozen blueberries and mix things up. Going back to my 5K client which we would put in the steady state cardio type of work out my advice would be to yes for sure go to brunch but choose and compare the options. In this day and age there are so many healthy food options out there if you make the active decision to look out for them.
Last but not least I've mentioned this before be sure to consult your physician to ensure that you are making all the wise moves for your optimal health.
Have a beautiful evening!
Laugh Everyday. Sweat Everyday!
If you believe it, you become FIT.