Discuss: Post Workout Nutrition!

Hi All..

I wonder what everyone's views are on post workout nutrition. No, I don't mean which is the best post workout supplement or shake, just in general what your thoughts are on it.

In my own experience and reading, I've found there are a few schools of thought on it:

1) Post Workout meal should be soon after the workout, high, fast acting carb content, to illicit an insulin response.

2) No immediate Carb intake, why spike insulin?

3) Doesn't really matter at the end of the day.

The opponents of the first scenario say that when you ingest a good amount of carbs immediately after, yes you spike your insulin, but you lower testosterone levels, and will cite studies as the following:


Opponents of the second scenario claim that recovery is greatly increased by ingesting within the first half hour after your workout.

In my experience, I've found that for very demanding, "metabolic" endurance type workouts/circuits, as well as intense MMA training, carb/protein/nutrient loading soon after has helped my recovery. I don't feel that I need supplementation/food soon after low rep max effort sessions, however. (this is all anecdotal though).

So what are your thoughts on this?


I dunno

after a workout be it strength and cardio or mma workout I usually eat a
Met RX MRP bar and a banana or a apple.

I think sometimes we make nutrition more difficult then it needs to be. If
you are burning ALOT of calories everyday and are eating fairly clean, lean
proteins, good carbs then it will all work itself out.

i'm with your train of thought... i won't/don't use anything if i don't feel
the workout was long or intense enough... but if it is, i use a post
workout drink

I just have some myoplex.


this is a good question. I often take a carb protein shake after an intense anaeroboc session. If the intensity is low, I don't bother.

I have also been looking in to the idea that the post workout shake may not be a good choice because of the T blunting effect.

From most of the current research I have checked a little protein and carbs before the workout and a small amount after is actually a bigger boost to protein uptake.

I'll have to experiment and read more.


P.S. where is Coach Hale, this sounds like his department.

If I'm supposed to train again, later the same day, or if I'm in a period where there is any problem with sufficient recovery, I feel it is important to get some fast carbs and protein in quickly after the first session. In periods with less training and adequate rest then I just make sure I have a complete meal within 3-4 hours after the session.

I very much doubt that meal timing is as big of a deal as people make it

Atecexa, you are probably right however it is pretty straightforward to get some carbs and protein after a workout so why not?

Since this is the holiday time I will tell all you my favorite post bust-your-ass workout drinks......EGGNOG.

I usually do my workouts first thing in the morning. After that i have my breakfast, which usually consists of a pint of semi-skimmed milk and some fruit - usually apple or banana. From a scientific point of view, i have no idea if it is optimal or not. :)

HULC - from a scientific point of view it would be very useful to eat at least something before workout...

I thought the article regarding the blunting of test post work out was due a clearing out affect of the insulin. It suggested that luteinizing hormone production wasnt disturbed, therefore not a serious issue. Plus it suggested a net increase in Growth Hormone and insulin release after the carbs(both of which are extremely anabolic agents).

timing may not be of critical importance to the average joe, but to certain athletes who are serious about there training it may certainly be.

One of my good friends is a Sports dietician for a professional Rugby team here in OZ and they are absolutely spoon fed for atleast 3 hrs post workout. Carbs/protein reload every hr for atleast 3hrs post strength training in the pre season.

Hopefully i will be able to shed more light on this in a few years as im currently a 2nd year student in Dietetics.

i think the little bit of carb and protein before a work out is a good thing too! More and more research coming out on the benefits of pre workout supp. I do Both myself. Generally a 2:1 ratio of carbs/protein pre-work out.

I can personally vouch for sfbjj's post work-out eggnog. I have seen it. When it is not holidays season it's back to chocolate milk he goes.


sounds good. Keep me in the loop.


Honestly, I use to subscribe to all the latest theories of sports nutrition.

Post workout I'd have a drink consisting of around 20g of a mix of high
and low glycemic (sp?) index carbs 10g protein and BCAA's. I'd even
throw some antioxidants in with that as well.

I've switched to skim milk or chocolate milk (if it was a particularly intense
session). I've noticed no difference in recovery or adaption. Perhaps I'm
cheating myself. I'm saving a lot of money at least. I've always naturally
had low bf too, and haven't noticed a change there either. Maybe I'm

I think you are lucky!

I have had lengthy debates with one of the coaches at my gym about the benefits of protein supplementation. He is a retired vetinarian doctor and the Head guy for the australian wrestling association. He is a learnered man. Basically he said that whey protein was a waste of time and that eating a whole food meal was all we needed.

well this debate went of for some time until i gave him tub of protein and told him to try it dirctly post work out. Since that day he has come back with his tail between his legs and is now reliant on the proteins for post work out recovery. He honestly couldnt believe the difference it made in reducing muscle soreness etc.

However thats one person - this doesnt apply to everybody. But in saying that i think protein shakes have a deserved place in post work out nutrition.

I think the cheapest, easiest post workout meal is about 8-10 Oz of Non-fat milk and a banana.


Taku, I thought the problem with milk post excercise is that it absorbs slowly.

(as mentioned above, I know that people can still get great results with sub-maximal nutrition and that for the vast majority of people on these boards, the diferences will not even be noticeable however I like to know what the ideal is then make my concessions from there)

reg milk is majority cassein based therefore a gel like layer is formed on the inside of the stomach, inhibiting rapid absorption.

a mixture of Hydrolysed whey and cassein is a very good blend of proteins post workout. rapid absorption of whey triggers protein synthesis, whilst cassein halts the catabolic effects over a longer period - post workout.

20ounces water
0.5 g/lb gatorade powder
0.25 g/lb whey
15g creatine (could vary depending on BW)

mix, drink half about 1/2 hour before training the other half immediately after. Has worked well for me and others. Could add glutamine if you can afford it as well.

Many studies have shown the importance of post workout nutrition benfits (high GI carbs, and quick protein), the consensus really does not change among experts.