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Post Workout Nutrition

If you have done any research into post workout nutrition you will be familiar with the saying that is it probably the most important meal of the day for anyone who is looking to build muscle or lose body fat.  The only problem is that there is still some confusion about what you should and shouldn’t have post workout to optimize muscle growth, recovery and repair.  I wanted to answer some of these questions that I get on a daily basis in this post regarding what your post workout nutrition should look like.  There is a reason I HIGHLY recommend the P90X recovery drink for everyone doing a high intensity training program like P90X, Insanity or TurboFire.

Basically your post workout meal should include both protein and carbs, and should not include fat.  Although Fat is NOT the enemy and should be eaten in your diet, eating fat post workout defeats of purpose of your post workout meal.  This is because fat is slow digesting.  This is not something you want to happen with your post workout shake.  The protein and carbs you eat need to be digested quickly so your body can take advantage of the “Window of Opportunity” that your body has within 1 hour post workout.  This time is when it’s the most beneficial for your body to get protein and carbs so it can help to rebuild and repair your muscles quickly.

Post Workout Protein

So, know you know you need both protein and carbs post workout.  But which type of protein is best?  There is a reason why people have shakes post workout instead of full meals.  Liquid digests more quickly.  The point of your post workout nutrition is to get those amino acids to your muscles as quickly as possible.  The best way to do this is to use a Whey protein powder.  Whey Protein is the fastest digesting protein that you can get.  This is why whey is the first choice for most people looking for a good post workout protein (Vegans tend to gravitate toward brown rice protein and pea protein). During your resistance days, you should be adding 1/2 – 1 scoop of whey protein powder to your post workout shake, depending on your goals.  If your looking to build muscle you will want to get 0.15-0.25 grams of protein per your desired body weight.  The P90X recovery drink has enough whey protein in it for your  cardio days.

Post Workout Carbs

As important as post workout protein is post workout carbs.  Typically you will hear me say to always stay away from sugar and simple carbs.  You should be eating complex carbs because they digest slowly and don’t spike your blood sugar.  They are better for weight loss and will help to regulate your energy levels throughout the whole day.  Well, this changes post workout.  Post workout you want to have Sugar in the form of Glucose (dextrose).  Let me explain…

When you workout at a high intensity you deplete Glycogen that is stored in your muscles.  Glycogen serves as energy that your muscles use to function and it’s what fuels your workouts.  Once it depletes, it needs to be restored as quickly as possible.  If it doesn’t get restored then your body realeases a hormone called Cortisol, which is your body’s stress hormone.  That creates a catabolic effect, that causes your body to eat up muscle tissue for protein and convert it to glucose.  The results is a loss of muscle tissue…kinda defeats the purpose of working out doesn’t it?  The good news is that a post workout shake consisting of dextrose, like the P90X recovery drink, helps to stop this from happening, keeping your body in an anabolic state.

Your muscles soak up the glucose sugar like a sponge, restoring the glycogen lost.  At the same time the whey protein shuttles into the muscles as well providing them with the amino acids they need to recover and repair as quickly as possible.

I Highly recommend the P90X Recovery drink for this exact purpose.  It contains both Dextrose (a rating of 96 on the glycemic index) and Maltodextrin (like dextrose, maltodextrin is absorbed directly through the gut. So it raises blood sugar and insulin levels as much as dextrose does).  The P90X recovery drink also contains whey protein.  This is why I recommend that you use the P90X recovery drink after your resistance and cardio workouts.  Beachbody made sure they put a lot of thought into improving the recovery drink so they made sure that it has everything your body needs to help recovery, repair and build new muscle.

My Post Workout Recommendations

For those trying to gain muscle than I recommend having a post workout shake consisting of 1 scoop of whey protein + 2 scoops of P90X recovery drink after all of your resistance workouts and 2 scoops of P90X recovery drink post cardio.

For those trying to lose body fat than I recommend having a post workout shake consisting of 1-2 – 1 scoop whey protein and 1 scoop P90X recovery drink for resistance workouts and 1-2 scoops P90X recovery drink post cardio.

You can also add additions like creatine and glutamine to your post workout shake.  Both are beneficial in muscle repair and growth.

Please let me know if this helps you or if you have any questions on what is right for you!  Comment below

 

22 comments
theonlinepersonalstylist
theonlinepersonalstylist

Thanks for this great article. I'm an online personal stylist with qualifications in fitness and nutrition, I find that so many people struggle with these topics and understanding what it is exactly that they need to do in order to see a difference. 

SebastianJBravo
SebastianJBravo

Hey Sean! I am 5'10 and 168.5lbs and about to start p90x. I don't wanna use the program to lose weight or that much fat cause I am already at normal weight (BMI). I already bought a whey protein and since the P90x recovery drink is to expensive for me, I was planning on replacing it with the EAS recovery drink and some creatine. Will that work? and how and she should I be taking them?

jay2003
jay2003

are workouts like plyometrics, plyocide and a lot of the insanity dvd's considered "resistance" days? There are some resistance exercises in these dvd's ; I'm just trying to decide on which days I need to do resistance post nutrition as opposed to cardio post nutrition. I'm currently doing your p90x/p90x2 hybrid and I take the full recovery drink ,1 scoop of whey, and 1 scoop of max creatine after each workout except yoga. After  yoga I usually have 1 scoop of whey which im beginning to think is unnecessary.

jay2003
jay2003

Sean

I thought beachbody said not to take anything except the recovery drink post workout  for at least 45 minutes in fear of the nutrients competing? This is why I am so confused about if I should add protein to the recovery drink in that "Golden Hour". In my head protein is protein and if I add more, the additional protein isnt going to interfere with any other nutrient. Yes, no, kind of?

 

Jay

raj
raj

Hey, wanted to know if a scoop of whey protein (25 grams of protein) and a cup of fruit juice (30 grams of carbs) would be a good alternative if Im trying to lose body fat and gain some muscle.... really trying to get a 6 pack

Shaun
Shaun

Hi Sean, Just wondering if you are using myfitnesspal, and if you don't mind me joining your group. And I want you to be my coach, but I'm based in the UK and the beachbody website wants a US adress. Any suggestions, because I'm really keen to get a hold of your chest x2.0 Keep up the good work, your an inspiartion Cheers Shaun

Cole
Cole

Hey sean i have a couple quick questions, I have the p90x R&R drink ..i saw u had different post work out nutritions for people trying to gain mass and people trying to lose fat...now if i want to gain mass and lose fat what should i do? like 2 scoops of p90x drink and 1/2 scoop of whey? or other way around?...And my other question is i see the p90x drink has 500mg of creatine in it...i have CON-CRET creatine(dont know if u know of it,but its not a monohydrate) but wud it be ok to mix it in with my recovery drink or is that too much creatine? or should i use the CON-CRET as a pre workout?

Jorge
Jorge

Hello, Grettings from Portugal, what about adding a Banana to your post workout shake?? I heard that it does the same refering to simple carbs....Whey protein and a Banana.

Dan V.
Dan V.

It's amazing/comforting to see what Beachbody does to continually improve this formula. Recently changed it's less sweet (and that's relative) but I'd take that all day for additional efficacy.

Noreen
Noreen

Coach Sean - I have the recovery packets instead of the tub so I can bring it to the gym. Does the packet equal one scoop or two? I use half the packet and drink it after my interval training class and through the next cardio class, then drink the rest on my ride home. Since it's close to 8pm by the time I get home I usually just chop up a couple of eggs and call it a night. Thoughts?

Pamela
Pamela

what if i want to build muscle AND loose body fat?? should i stick with the recepie for building muscle of should I follow the fat burning one? Im thinking the building muscle right? muscle burns fat thats why?

Patrick
Patrick

Coach Sean I know this may sound crazy, but I have heard of people using pixie sticks in their protein shakes. dextrose is the main ingredient in them. What are your thoughts on that?