The Perfect Post Workout Shake

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Everyone that has read one bodybuilding magazine knows that they need a post workout shake to help build more muscle and lose fat. What would the perfect post workout shake consist of?

I just got this question from a reader.

“What’s in your post workout shake? I want to increase my fat loss and add some lean muscle, I’d especially like to build bigger arms. Any tips?

Here’s my answer

My post workout shake depends on multiple factors.  It depends on my macronutrient math, does it fit into my carb/fat and protein allowance for the day? It varies just based on those factors. It also depends on how long before your workout that you last ate, the intensity of your workout and the length of your workout.

On a muscle building diet I’ll have around 50-100 grams of carbs and 30-40 grams of protein. If I wanted to increase my arm size then I’d get on a good arm training program and eat more that day.

The Post Workout Shake

Step one is looking at your goals for post workout nutrition. Are you…

Over your goal weight?

Under your goal weight?

Right at your goal weight?

Answer that question then look into your post workout ratios.

If you’re over your goal weight use a .5:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio

If you’re under your goal weight use a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio

If you’re at your goal weight use a 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.

 Post Workout Recovery Ratios

At this point you’re probably wondering what the ratios that I mentioned above for your post workout recovery shake are. Here’s what I mean.

Preliminary research has shown that a high carbohydrate to protein ratio may increase testosterone.

Let’s say that you’re right at your goal weight, you’ll use a 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. So if you use 50 grams of protein then you’ll use 50 grams of carbs, simple right?

Well what about if you’re overweight? I suggest a .5:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. After all, you have extra body fat that can be burnt for energy and you probably have some metabolic issues that need to be fixed in the absence of carbs.

Use 50 grams of protein then you 25 grams of carbs. Got it?

Liquid vs Whole Food Post Workout Recovery

Which is better? That’s the age old question that is so screwed up by supplement compaines. Here’s the raw facts.

  1. Liquid meals are easier to digest post workout. Every try to choke down a chicken breast post workout? Yeah, it isn’t easy. Plus you also need to account for your gastrointestinal tract  and the stress that you just put it under. Post workout recovery drinks are a better option here.
  2. A typical solid food meal will take around two to three hours to digest whereas a liquid protein post workout shake will be digested in about forty five minutes. Yes, you’re getting the same amount of protein either way but research does show us that the longer wait to consume amino acids the slower our recovery is.
  3. A post workout recovery shake is better then a whole food because you can target specific goals in the shake. For example, say that I want a little more leucine, an amino acid involved with gaining weight and muscle building, I can add a little of it to my shake. Maybe I’m overweight or have stomach issues, I can add the amino acid glycine to my shake to improve my digestive health. You just can’t do that with a whole meal.

Intake of greater than 50 grams of carbohydrate does not appear to increase the rate of glycogen synthesis.

Post Workout Shake Questions And Answers

Q: When is it ok to use high carbs in my post workout shake?

A: Watch this video

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