What are the Best Muscle Building Foods for Post Workout Nutrition?
Getting muscle building foods as part of your post workout nutrition plan is essential for anyone who wants to build muscle and gain weight fast.
As we talk about in our article about pre-workout meals and muscle building nutrition, the timing of your meals is extremely important.
Remember: your body starts building muscle once you leave the gym. Therefore, you want to feed your muscles and to provide the muscle building foods that you body needs to begin repairing and building muscle as soon as possible following your weight training workout. It is the 30 to 90 minutes after you leave the gym that are the most important in your post workout nutrition plan.
This article is the second in a series to discuss meal timing and composition and its importance to your muscle building plans.
Muscle Building Plans: Post Workout Nutrition
You must feed your muscles following your workout if you truly want to build muscle and gain weight fast. Failing to get the proper post workout nutrition will cause your muscle building plans to falter.
The importance of nutrition and rest is well documented on this website. When in the gym, you are tearing down your muscle through your weight training routine. Once you leave and begin your rest cycle, your body begins to repair and build muscle. This process begins the moment your workout ends. As a result, if your post workout nutrition is not on the mark, your body will not be able to efficiently repair and build muscle. So what nutrients do you need in your post workout meals to advance your muscle building plans?
Post Workout Muscle Building Nutrition: Protein to Repair and Build Muscle
The main ingredient we are looking for in a post workout meals is protein. Protein provides amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of our muscles. You want to get around 30 to 50 grams of protein as soon as possible following your workout. For this, you might consider a whey protein shake as your best option. Whey protein is a fast digesting protein and will rapidly supply your muscle with much needed protein. Other great sources of protein include, milk, lean read meats, eggs, fish and peanuts.
Post Workout Muscle Building Nutrition: Carbohydrates to Stop Catabolism
Near the end of your workout, your glycogen (energy) stores are depleted. As a result, your body starts to breakdown and use protein for energy. You body's primary stores of protein are in your muscles. This breakdown of the muscles for energy is called catabolism. This has obvious repercussions on your muscle building plan, since your muscles need all the protein it can absorb to build muscle. As a result, you need to replace glycogen as soon as possible following your workout so that your body can use protein for muscle building rather than energy. You should shoot for 70 to 80 grams of both low glycemic and high glycemic index (slow and fast acting) carbohydrates in your post workout nutrition plan.
Pre workout Muscle Building Nutrition: What About Fats? Testosterone to Build Muscle
As with your pre-workout meal, you should keep your fats to a minimum. Shoot for 15 grams or less of the good fats to support testosterone production. Omega-3 EFA's are common in tuna, salmon, seeds and nuts. Omega-6 EFA's are found in sources such as eggs, poultry and nuts.
Pre workout Muscle Building Nutrition: A Post Workout Shake May Be Your Best Bet
You need to get your muscle building foods, protein and carbohydrates in particular, as soon as possible following your weight training session. The calorie breakdown is approximately 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates and 20% fats at the recommended nutrient intake above. To do this, your post workout nutrition may be most easily obtained with a whey protein shake that provides both the protein you need to build muscle, but also the carbohydrates you need to prevent further muscle breakdown.