What's recommended to consume right after a work-out ?
January 25, 2008 1:31 PM   Subscribe

What should i consume immediately after a work-out ? If i'm not a fan of powdered protein ?

I've heard that consuming a high-glycemic carbohydrate after a workout is idea -- could anyone give me feasible ideas of this ?
posted by hboogz to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Sardines are a great source of cheap protein.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:34 PM on January 25, 2008

I have had good luck eating about one third of those special protein bars before the workout and about a third or the rest of it afterwards. I know they aren't tasty, but if you can't get home within 30 minutes to wolf down a chicken breast, it is the best thing. I have found I am able to work out longer and not feel depleted if I have a couple of bites of one of the bars first. I like the Kashi ones, they seem to have less artificial gunk in them. None of them are particularily tasty, but they give your body what it needs to recover from a serious workout.
posted by 45moore45 at 1:36 PM on January 25, 2008

Chocolate milk!
posted by Static Vagabond at 1:37 PM on January 25, 2008

Seconding chocolate milk: a quart or so, if you can handle it (I never could).
posted by uncleozzy at 1:42 PM on January 25, 2008

You need carbs and protein. I'm not the biggest fan of the premade for fitness industry and my dietitian recommends a turkey sandwich on wheat bread. 3 oz. of turkey, one slice of cheese. She calls it the perfect post workout fuel.
posted by advicepig at 1:43 PM on January 25, 2008

Response by poster: I am just leery of those powdered protein mix-ups; it could just be lack of information. I definitely can do chocolate milk, but keeping it cold after an 1.5 hours, between leaving my house and ending my workout at the gym, that's the trick.

Turkey with a low-fat cheese and wheat bread sounds good.
posted by hboogz at 1:51 PM on January 25, 2008

but keeping it cold after an 1.5 hours, between leaving my house and ending my workout at the gym, that's the trick.

This is exactly what Thermos containers were made for. One will keep your chocolate milk cold all day if you need it to.
posted by General Malaise at 1:54 PM on January 25, 2008

A handful of raw almonds works for me, and they're portable. Turkey sandwiches on whole-grain bread are good too.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:55 PM on January 25, 2008

It's funny that folks here are suggesting chocolate milk as a few weeks ago, after working out, I decided that I wanted nothing more than chocolate milk. It was wonderful, and I've been drinking it after workouts ever since.
posted by ob at 2:03 PM on January 25, 2008

Hboogz: what do you consider a "work-out"? Are you lifting weights, doing light cardio, or doing long endurance? The type of work-out will determine your post-work out nutrition needs. Generally, if you are lifting-weights you will need to protein immediately following the weight-lifting so that your muscle has the materials to rebuild itself. Protein can come in the form of powdered protein or lean meat or even something like a bowl of black beans. I know one thing that several of my triathlete/adventure racer friends consume post-workout is the Powerbar "Recovery" drink - this has a good mix of carbohydrate _and_ protein - and is a bit different than the usual whey protein-type drinks that are popular these days.

The concept behind the high-glycemic carbohydrate is just so your body re-stores some energy as glycogen to be utilized for the next high intensity activity (and also so that you are not sluggish following the workout). Generally if I workout at night I just consume the protein post-workout and then in the morning I eat my high-glycemic carb to start the day off with energy. If I workout in the morning then I consume the protein _and_ the carb.

So, all that said chocolate milk isn't a bad idea since it has a protein and carbs but keep in mind those carbs come in the form of simple sugars - almost too much. The best non-drink that you can consume is advicepig's idea of turkey sandwich on wheat bread. Protein, carbs, low amount of simple sugars, and it is healthy and tasty to boot. Also, in the past I've done had egg sandwiches and turkey sandwiches.

Not a doctor, not a nutritionist, not a personal trainer, yadda, yadda...
posted by rlef98 at 2:05 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

Depends on the type and duration of the workout. Chocolate milk is a popular choice. Or even regular milk with some sugar mixed in.

Personally, as an endurance athlete, I only do recovery drinks after a very hard session or a workout longer than 60-75 minutes. And when I do, it's usually Endurox R4.
posted by csimpkins at 2:13 PM on January 25, 2008

This should answer question.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:25 PM on January 25, 2008

I don't work out- just jog. But bananas and almonds usually do it for me. I usually eat a banana before I run too, or I get tired half way through.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:44 PM on January 25, 2008

As rlef98 and csimpkins both said, it is dependent on what kind of workout you do, where your body is at, and where you want it to go.

Post us a little more info please.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:44 PM on January 25, 2008

what about yogurt? regular yogurt (not "lite") has protein, some fat, and sugar.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:51 PM on January 25, 2008

I usually do lean deli meat and a slice of bread. Sometimes a chicken breast, or something else rich in protein, with a bit of carbs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:05 PM on January 25, 2008

I agree with the others who have suggested drinking some chocolate milk. It is good for you and a little naughty at the same time.
posted by mamaraks at 3:13 PM on January 25, 2008

I eat 2grams per kilo bodyweight of carbs (a bowl of oatmeal, usually) after a 3-4hr bike ride. You also want to do this within 3hrs of the end of your workout, because that's when your muscles are craving recovery fuel.
posted by rhizome at 3:16 PM on January 25, 2008

You might find this useful.
posted by howiamdifferent at 3:32 PM on January 25, 2008

Coconut water works as well as a gatorade-type drink, without all the added sugar and other bad-for-you shit.
posted by youarenothere at 3:39 PM on January 25, 2008

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
posted by ericales at 3:53 PM on January 25, 2008

I was told by a fitness instructor-who also had a degree in biology-that after a cardio workout the perfect snack was-and I am serious-a Fig Newton bar. Something about restoring glycogen levels.
posted by konolia at 4:25 PM on January 25, 2008

I'm going to disagree with almost all of the answers above, presuming that you're looking to consume something after high intensity anaerobic exercise (e.g. weight lifting, sprints). If you're on a workout program that contains these types of exercise, you should be eating at least 1g protein / lb body weight. You're going to probably want 30-40 grams of protein after you work out*.

Beans, peanut butter, deli meat, almonds, even most so-called "protein bars" won't get you to this level. Chocolate milk will, if you drink 40 ounces of it, and that means you're getting around 100+ grams of sugar along with it as well. Things that will get you there: chicken breasts, tuna, most fish, lean beef (beef jerky is pretty great but gets expensive).

It's remarkable how many foods in our society have a reputation for being high protein when they're really not. For a food to be considered high protein, we should be looking at what percentage of its calories come from protein. Almonds and peanuts, for example, both contain less than 20% of their calories from protein! I've had whole grain bread that had a higher percentage of protein in it.

*I actually don't think it's necessary to consume a large amount of protein immediately following your workouts. Just make sure you're getting enough protein in total and that it's evenly distributed throughout your meals.
posted by christonabike at 5:34 PM on January 25, 2008

Water? I think I'd puke otherwise.
posted by gjc at 8:38 PM on January 25, 2008

The Paleo approach is not widely accepted science, but one of its leading advocates suggests that the best thing to eat after a workout is absolutely nothing. This approach allegedly promotes the release of growth hormone, and encourages insulin sensitivity.

Works for me, at least.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:42 PM on January 25, 2008

posted by randomstriker at 11:42 PM on January 25, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the all replies.

My workout consists of both weight-training and cardio..

MWF - I weight train and i do Cardio on Thursday and Saturdays.

My goals are to improve my overall health through a sensible diet and regular exercise that consists of strength/resistance training and cardio ( Hi Intensity and Low Intensity )

Could anyone delve into the biological benefit of the chocolate milk idea ?
posted by hboogz at 6:30 AM on January 28, 2008

Chocolate Milk would be good if it was made with skim milk.

Here is an article that suggests a high protein, moderate carb, and fat free post workout meal. That is what is recommended by all of the personal trainers and bodybuilders I know.

I eat a banana as I am walking out of the gym to increase glycogen storage then I have a protein shake either made with water with some fruit blended in or I make it with skim milk.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:14 AM on January 28, 2008

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