Nutrient Timing-Can We Eat Fat Post Workout?

Time and time again I’ll come across various studies or online threads concerning post workout nutrition. Very much like the notion that more protein is always better, bodybuilders tend to think that they can only consume protein and a whole lot of carbohydrates post workout. Nothing else will do. The research is there and I’m not refuting it.

Take carbs alone post workout and you get no increase in protein synthesis

Take protein alone post workout and you get a little increase in protein synthesis.

Take protein and carbs together and magic happens (along with you getting a dose-dependent increase in protein synthesis until a certain point).

protein

We know that already.

But what about when you diet? Sure,you can keep your carbs to the early part of the day and post workout when they are more than likely to be stored as muscle tissue but what about when you know your body type responds very poorly to carbohydrates. Generally due to frequent influxes of carbohydrates, some people handle them poorly regardless of how much they eat.

Can you break a rule and eat fat post workout?

Most people are worried about fat blunting post workout insulin response. Now our main goal post workout isn’t to enhance protein synthesis as much as it is to prevent protein breakdown. Unfortunately, most don’t understand the power of pre-workout nutrition. Tipton confirmed that just 6 grams of essential amino acids and 35 grams of sugar taken before about 45-50 minutes pre-training was able to keep insulin levels elevated for 2 hours post-exercise before they returned to normal. He also showed that 20-25 grams of whey alone was enough to elicit this benefit when consumed per workout. Of course, adding carbs would make it better.

postworkout

A study done by Capaldo with solid food found that as meal consisting of  predominately carbs but including protein and fat was able to raise insulin upwards of 3x above baseline levels within 30 minutes. This lasted until about 300 minutes post meal, with insulin levels still being double than pre-meal levels.

Lastly research has shown that muscle breakdown was halted when insulin was raised to about 15 uU/mL. Most normal, health individuals have  resting insulin levels of 5-10 uU/mL.

So there you have it. Does fat post-workout lead to evil things? No, I highly doubt it. We’ve all seen the video of Ronnie Coleman eating a normal, balanced meal of carbohydrates, protein and fat post-workout and he grew. My personal opinion is that it depends on the severity of training. Based on what I train that day, I may or may not get full from eating fat and actually look forward to my sugar-laden post workout shake and feel better instantly. Not to mention the convenience of having a shake immediately post exercise since we do have to travel back home and eating cold chicken and almonds in the parking lot of the gym isn’t that appealing.

So would eating fat post workout prevent you from making gains? Doesn’t look like it.

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  1. Ryan
    6 years ago

    so how much fat do you recommend?

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