How to Make and Take the Post-Workout Recovery Super Shake!
Super ultra mega tl;dr but once you read through it's really simple and easy to do.
Our goal is to get a steady flow of nutrients during the potent “window of opportunity” post-training. I believe an overproduction of insulin, resulting from an overly rapid consumption of simple carbs, is the reason for a lot of the typical “bulking phase chub” we all hate.
As you consume your post-exercise meal, contemplate your energy levels over the next hour. It’s of the utmost significance that your energy levels do not go down at all during the post-workout period.
If they do that means this flow of nutrients has been disturbed. Two things can offset this flow:
1. Your blood glucose levels are dropping, meaning you aren’t getting enough nutrients when your body needs them.
2. Your blood glucose levels rose too quickly! As a result of this your body secretes an overload of insulin to get rid of the blood glucose. What happens as a result of this overload? Some of it will go to start protein synthesis, but most of it gets converted to fat. Remember, excess glucose goes to fat.
To make matters worse, your blood glucose levels begin to drop and you go back into a catabolic condition. So not only are you catabolic but you gain fat! WHOA! That’s the very opposite of what we want!
To protect against either of the above two scenarios consume your shake at a slower rate. Your post-workout meal should be taken over the course of a 45 to 60 minute period.
This cushioning effect will ensure a better processing job of the nutrients consumed. As a general rule of thumb, consume half of your meal immediately, and sip on the rest over the 45 to 60 minute time frame.
Another major factor we need to consider is our water intake post-workout. I recommend one to two liters of water over this 45-60 minute period. Water is vital to carbohydrate storage. If we intend to replenish our glycogen stores post-exercise, water needs to be our greatest ally.
However, just like consuming simple carbs too rapidly post-workout can cause an overproduction of insulin, so too overly rapid intake of water post-workout is detrimental to our goals. An overly induced intake of water causes the blood pressure to rise excessively, sending a signal to the brain that stops the secretion of a hormone called ADH, which causes the body to secrete more water than normal. The hydration process is much more efficient by consuming small amount of water over a longer period of time.
- I recommend one gallon of water consumption over the course of your workout, and one to two liters consumed over a 45-60 minute time frame post-workout.
The amount of simple carbs you take in should dictate the time frame of your post-workout intake. The more simple carbs you take in the more you should aim for the 60 minute time frame to ensure equilibrium of insulin production. Also, the amount of simple carbohydrates you take-in should be reflective of your goals.
As a general rule, on a bulk-up plan the amount of carbs to consume following a hardcore weight training session is five grams of carbs per every ten pounds of bodyweight. This means a 200lb male would consume 100 grams of carbohydrates post-training. During a bulking phase I recommend consuming half the amount of protein in grams as you did carbohydrates in grams. So in this case our post-exercise shake would be mixed with 50 grams of protein.
On a cutting phase I recommend consuming 2.5 grams of carbs per ten pounds of bodyweight. The goal here is to consume just enough to suppress cortisol and increase growth hormone levels and to get out of our catabolic state. During a time when you are restricting calories, the last thing you want is to be catabolic. I also recommend consuming an equal amount of protein as you did carbohydrates. So in this same 200 lb. male, he would consume 50 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein during his cutting phase.
I also recommend cutting the carbs down for a less intense session, or for training a smaller muscle group. It would make sense that the more intense you are the greater the demand your body would place on post-workout nutrition and your post-workout shake should reflect that.
One important aspect I recommend in regard to the 45-60 minute time frame is spacing out the timing of the ingredients of your post-workout meal.
To better explain, let me split up our post-workout meal into two phases:
Phase one: Immediately.
- (using the same 200 lb. male on a bulk example) 100 grams of a combination of 50% of your carbs coming from Dextrose and 50 % of your carbs coming from Maltodextrin
- 50 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein
- 1 Liter of Water
Shake all the ingredients well. (I personally like using a Blender Bottle for my shakes)
Scoop out and consume 5-10 grams of creatine, and consume along side the shake. I don’t recommend mixing the creatine directly into the shake. Simply spoon it into your mouth and drink it down with your shake. Consume 1/2 of the shake in this immediately following your workout in this manner. After you have taken half the shake in, continue taking small sips of the shake.
Phase two: 15-20 minutes later
Scoop out and consume (again don’t mix directly into the shake) 5-10 grams of L-Glutamine.
Now is the time to consume any anti oxidants with your shake. A high quality multi-vitamin will work well, or you can just take Vitamin C and/or E.
This combination of L-Glutamine and anti-oxidants will help to super charge your immune system after the beating it has just taken.
- Continue sipping on your post-workout meal for the duration of the initial 45-60 minute period.
- 30 minutes after you have completely finished your post-workout meal eat a well balanced meal.
Protein synthesis is amplified by 50% post-workout but it can be elevated as high as 110% up to 24 hours post-training! So keep supplying nutrients to your body all day long for optimal gains, and remember to drink plenty of water!