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  • Chocolate milk does a body good!

    By Travis Steffen on Saturday, April 17, 2010in Other  

    chocolate2In my last blog post I explained the process of hypertrophy, how our muscles break down, heal, and grow. I mentioned there are 3 crucial factors that will aid in the process, those being the actual workouts, rest and recovery, and nutrition. Today I’m going to briefly explain the nutrition factor, specifically the post workout meal. Prepare yourself because I am about to sound somewhat hypocritical on a couple of points. First of all, normally I would never recommend that you ingest simple sugars but today I’m making an exception. Second, I always suggest adding a small amount of healthy fats to each meal but in regards to post workout nutrition, I’m throwing that rule out the window as well. Confused yet? Let me explain.


    After an intense workout our muscles are depleted…that comes as no surprise as I have no doubt you can feel that. The muscle fibres have been beaten and broken down and are starving for replenishment in the form of protein and glycogen. Protein is essential in the post workout meal because that is actually what muscle tissue is made of. When the muscles (proteins) are broken down during a workout it stands to reason that those proteins would need to be replaced…stat. Your post workout meal should be consumed within 60 minutes from the completion of your workout, preferably within 30. This is the time frame when the body will utilize the food best and you will reap optimal results. Your best option for protein is a high quality whey or casein protein since they are the 2 that are absorbed by the body the fastest. The sooner you can give those muscles the nourishment they need, the better.


    Training also depletes the bodies glycogen stores quite rapidly depending on the intensity and/or length of a workout. Glycogen is replaced in the form of carbohydrates. Since time is of the essence when it comes to devouring that post workout meal simple carbohydrates (sugar) are the best choice as  the body absorbs them very quickly. This is likely the ONLY time I will recommend opting for simple carbs. Your best bet is to choose a sports drink, juice or shake since the liquid will enter your system faster than whole foods.


    Fat is digested very slowly which is why it is the one thing you will want to omit in your post workout meal. In general fat takes 4 hours to empty from the stomach into the small intestine…far longer than that 60 minute window of opportunity. Save the fat for later.

    As I said, liquids are best since they are absorbed faster than whole foods. I recommend enjoying a shake after your workout as they are fast, easy, convenient and portable. Simply mix juice or a sports drink with a high quality whey protein and you’re done. Most health clubs offer shakes right there allowing for even more convenience. If you’re watching your wallet or you’re working out at home, I suggest low fat or fat free chocolate milk! It’s cheap, you can get it anywhere, it’s portable, delicious and couldn’t be any easier, it’s low in fat, plentiful in quality casein and whey protein and a super source of simple carbs.

    Now that you have the knowledge of what to do after your workout…it’s time to hit the weights!

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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