Post Exercise Meal Choices
The post-exercise period can be broken down into 2 phases – the 1st 60 minutes and then the 2nd 60 minutes. The 1st 60 minutes will be more about hydration and liquid meals, where as the next 60-minute period we need to be getting in a fast absorbing solid meal containing carbohydrates and protein. Again your specific goal will determine both timing and composition of this phase, but let’s look at some examples.
TEAM SPORTS and ENDURANCE:
A post exercise drink to replace electrolytes, carbs and amino acids should be consumed as soon as the game is over. Protein shake with fruit or a weight gainer shake will also work well to start the recovery process. Approximately 60 minutes later it’s good to consume a solid meal containing both protein and faster acting carbs. Good choices include:
- Spaghetti Bolognaise
- Chicken and salad rolls
- Sweet and sour chicken (or prawns) and rice
- Sushi rolls
- Creamed Rice plus a scoop of protein powder
Protein shakes are the choice of most bodybuilders post-workout. Fast acting or hydrolysed whey protein provides the muscles with readily utilized amino acids. During a bulking/ muscle gaining phase carbohydrates in the form of fruit or Gen Tec Nutrition Pure Carbs/ Vitargo will be added. During a trimming phase some will opt only for the whey shake by itself.
After another 60 mins it is time to get a solid combination of protein and carbohydrates:
- Chicken breast and rice
- White Fish and Sweat potato (swap to vegetables if trimming up)
- Tuna and pasta
- Chicken breast, Leg Ham, Light cheese on English muffins
CARDIO FAT LOSS:
Generally after a cardio session you want to keep the fat burning process going for a few more hours. Protein still needs to be consumed to help with repair however fat and carbohydrates are usually limited to encourage the body to use stored fat as its primary energy source. Weight loss for women follows all the same rules as men, a protein shake straight after cardio followed by a protein /vegetable meal about 60 minutes after the shake. The serving size for women however is generally a bit smaller than men due to having less muscle mass (generally, not always). Good choices for post cardio meals are:
- Beef stir fry and cashews (low carb, higher fat dieting option
- Omelette and Vegetables
- Fish , vegetables and slim pasta
- Kangaroo, Salad and light dressing (Walden farms or balsamic)
Good choices for fast absorbing whey proteins are Bioflex Nutrition Hydroflex, Gen Tec Nutrition Hydro Pro and Bio-X Power Whey. If you want some extra carbs with your protein then Next Generation Mega-Grow, Bioflex Biobulker are great post exercise options.
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