Importance of Post-Workout Shake

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After you’ve taken the time to complete your workout suited to meet your goals, the next step is making sure you’re fueling that workout properly. You have about a one-hour window immediately after the workout is finished to provide your body with quality sources of protein and carbohydrates to kick-start the repair and building process.

Some guys make the mistake of skipping their post-workout shake thinking this will enable them to burn fat faster, but the opposite is true: If you want to reduce your calorie intake during the day, the worst place to take away calories is right after a workout because it’s during this time that your metabolism is running fastest -- so fat gain is least likely.

Below you’ll find the steps you need to take to create the perfect post-workout shake to build muscle.

Figure out your protein source

The protein you take in right after a resistance training session is quickly get broken down by the body and used to help repair the muscle fibers so you can grow stronger. Many studies have demonstrated that supplementing with whey protein powder immediately following a resistance training workout will increase the performance gains you get from that workout. Since you’re shooting for the fastest absorbing protein, a whey isolate will work the best.

Determine how much protein you require

For the average weight-lifting workout consisting of between 20 and 30 sets, you’re going to need approximately 25-50 grams of protein, which equates to two scoops of your whey protein powder.

Get your carbohydrate source

Once you’ve figured out your protein needs, then you must look at carbohydrates. Fat in this time period is to be avoided since it will slow down the release of the nutrients to the muscle cells, which is exactly what you don’t want.

In order to get the best results, you should aim to take a fast-acting carbohydrate right after the workout and then follow that with a slower carbohydrate in the hour afterward. This will help to spike insulin levels to drive the glucose into the muscle cells for quick recovery.

Dextrose is the best choice; however, any simple glucose food product will also work. One word of caution is to avoid fructose as much as you can because it is handled slightly differently in the body, being directed to the liver first rather than straight into the muscle cells.

Determine how many carbohydrates to use

To maximize muscle glycogen re-synthesis in the post workout session, you will want to add five grams of carbohydrates for every two working sets performed. Using our illustration of a workout consisting of 20 to 30 sets, this means you’re taking in 50 to 75 grams of dextrose.

Keep in mind that if you are looking to build more muscle mass, you can go higher with this intake to boost your calories and encourage lean tissue building. You will be most anabolic in the time right after your workout, so making use of this by placing a large portion of calories at this time is a very smart move.

To summarize, to create your post-workout shake you need:

• 25-50 grams of whey protein powder
• 5 grams of creatine (optional)
• 25-75 (or more) grams of dextrose

Mix all of this together and consume immediately after your cool-down has finished. Follow this with another meal that consists of a solid protein source, a slower digesting form of carbohydrates and a small amount of healthy fat an hour afterward.

If you want to maximize the results you get from your workout, the post-workout shake cannot be skipped. By getting this right, you’re one step closer to hitting your goals!

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