The Scoop on Post Workout (PWO) Nutrition.
This is a question we get a lot. At this point you are investing a lot into your health and fitness, so you want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to to maximize the effectiveness of each workout. However, before I can offer any relevant advice, it’s helpful to understand a little bit of what is happening to your body when we exercise.
Post Workout Nutrition is used to support your NEXT training session. ‘When that is going to be’ is a big determinant on how important it is to immediately refuel.
Simplistically, when we exercise, we are actually damaging our muscles and tearing our bodies down. Provided we give ourselves adequate recovery (sleep, nutrition, etc..), our bodies will, in theory, rebuild stronger and more capable then before. This process of breaking down and rebuilding is necessary to promote fat loss and more importantly muscle gain over time.Now, think about this. Where does the fuel come from to support these strenuous endeavors? A healthy diet gives us a base line of energy, but once we’ve burnt through what is immediately available, your body needs to “mobilize” more energy from storage to keep you going. For reference, what’s currently available is enough to power you through roughly 1-2 mins of moderate to high activity or roughly a Behemoth Lap.
Here is where you need to consider where you want this energy to come from and how you plan to use it. I find it easier to separate my recommendations for clients based on two main (and sometime conflicting) goals. Aesthetics or fat loss vs performance or build muscle.
NOTE: These are simply recommendations and you’ll need to test out what works for you to truly know the best option
For someone brand new to training (or someone really making an effort to clean up their diet), you can achieve both fat loss and muscle gain simultaneously. However, intermediate to advance athletes may find themselves hitting a plateau, whereas prioritizing fat loss may be to the detriment of performance and vice versa.
Fueling yourself with real food is always the best choice regardless of what you want to do with your fitness, but it can be difficult to choke down veggies and a chicken breast immediately following a tough training session.