Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo.  You’ve probably been to the grocery store and seen the “bar aisle”. I’m not talking about beer and spirits. I am talking about all those protein bars that are supposedly going to help you with your weight loss goals. This week I have had several requests to vlog on what it is you are supposed to eat after a workout.  The question comes from people building muscle, burning fat, and those who just want to improve their overall health.  If you have questions about today’s blog or would like to know more about how your post-workout meal can catapult you towards your goals, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

The answer can be overly-complicated depending on who you ask.  Many people think that they need to eat a very specific, regimented diet and do fixed things everyday in order for their workout to be effective. It becomes almost like a ritual for them. Their loyalty to their program is admirable, but what it really comes down to, is you should eat a balance of protein and carbs after you workout. That’s it.

Some proteins are also healthy fats such as nuts, cheese, and avocados. These are great to add in if you are just starting your day or you’ve hit your mid-day slump. You mainly want to focus on eating protein and carbs to balance out what you just did to yourself in your workout and provide the fuel your body needs to allow the muscles to recover.  Aim to eat that combo within 30 minutes after your session. This allows your muscles to absorb the maximum nutrition from that meal.  In turn, your muscles will recover and be revived for next time.

Those who aren’t into the ritual idea of eating and working out often default to drinking a protein shake post workout. That’s fine.  Your protein shake also needs a carb value to it. Add in some fruits or a carb powder to give your shake the full nutritional impact.  The carbs will supply you with energy to survive the rest of the day while rejuvenating your muscles. Then, the next time you go workout your muscles will be that much stronger and ready to be challenged.

“During my exercises, should I be working my muscles to failure (where I literally cannot do another rep) or should I be able to keep going?” That questions comes from one of my clients who I am a personal trainer for in Amarillo.  I’ll use a standard set of 12 to 15 repetition as an example to answer this question.  If the goal is 15 reps, then by 12 they need to be feeling the burn. The person working out shouldn’t be able to do much more than 15.  

Muscle growth, alternatively, comes with lower reps and heavier weights. A set for that would be around 8-10 reps. By 8 or 9 you should be feeling it, and by 10 you should almost be in failure. To gain more muscle, you have to break down the existing tissue (I know, that doesn’t sound great) by creating micro-tears from working to almost failure. Repair them with good nutrition and recovery and they will come out stronger than before with a toned and shapely look.

Having a postworkout meal that is a combination of proteins and carbs is crucial. If your pantry is empty or you just don’t feel like scrounging for the ingredients, go ahead and drink a protein shake, but remember to add a carb component to it.  You can also drink your protein-carb shake during the workout if that sounds appealing.  I wouldn’t recommend it beforehand since it won’t have as great an impact as it would during or within 30 minutes after your workout. Timing is important when you’re talking about increasing the cell recovery.  

If you don’t like the taste of protein shakes, no worries. Go ahead and make a meal that is rich in proteins and carbs. A breakfast idea would be some eggs and fruit. You just want something to eat that includes both proteins and carbs. It also a good idea to add in some healthy fats if you are working out first thing in the morning to get your body packed with nutrition before your day begins.

You want to stay hydrated as well. Half of your body weight in ounces of water everyday is considered hydrated.  When you workout, a lot of your hydration pours out of you as sweat. You need to replace that to keep your body chemistry in check. I like to keep a large water bottle like a Nalgene or gallon of water container handy to help me to remember to drink more throughout the day.  Drinking half of your allotted water before you head to the gym and the other after can be a great way to keep you from feeling woozy when you’re pushing yourself. Proteins, carbs, and water should be what you reach for within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.

One announcement before I quit talking your ear off.  If you’d like to lose up to 2 pant sizes in 6 weeks by eating real food and using actual exercise without having to weed your way through the internet opinions, downloading videos, looking for what is actually going to help, Down Size might be for you. Our popular weight loss session is now open for registration for the last time in 2017. The program begins October 30th and spots are running out. We will provide a customized program specifically for you and your goals, a nutrition plan to help your goals be achieved faster, and a hard look at your lifestyle. My team of professionals and I will work with you every step of the way as an accountability partner and answer any questions you may have. Best of all, if you lose 15 inches or more you get a 100% refund.  That’s a no-risk situation!

If you’d like to find out more about Down Size or would like some one-on-one advice about your current nutrition situation, don’t hesitate to talk with our team. You can reach us at 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day and don’t forget to eat your protein-carb recovery meal!