After an intense, calorie-burning workout most of us are starving and ready to chow down. However, if you’re putting in the time and dedication to building muscle and losing fat, you need to put the same amount of time and dedication into choosing the right foods post-workout.
When you reach for foods with the wrong ingredients it’s going to negate all of the hard work you’ve just put in. All of your efforts would be wasted. Boo to that.
Recently there was a lot of hype in the media due to a research study from the University of Montana in the United States. The study took 11 athletes, had them fast for 12 hours and then had them pedal bikes for 90 minutes. They gave half of the athletes sports performance drinks and power bars post-workout, and the other half fast food (burger, fries and Coke). The end result was a pretty even amount of calories, protein, fats and carbohydrates consumption.
However, this study only looked at replenishing your body’s glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates after an intense workout. Our bodies use both glycogen and fat for energy. Most of us could go for days before we use up all of our fat, but glycogen gets used up much faster and needs to be replenished. If you’re a hardcore athlete and you deplete your glycogen levels regularly, it’s good to know that you have various ways to replenish it that will more or less give you equal results.
The highly important thing to note here, however, is that glycogen recovery is one thing, protein synthesis is another.