60 Kettlebell Swings (53/35)
60 Box Jumps (24/20)
60 Kettlebell Reverse Lunges (53/35)
60/45 Calorie Row
Proper post-workout nutrition makes a massive difference on your ability to recover, improve, and get to your goals quicker. The purpose of the post-workout meal is twofold: to repair muscle tissue and to restore muscle glycogen.
When we workout, we create “micro-tears” in our muscles. Nothing severe (hence “micro”), but we need to recover and repair before we hit it hard again. The macronutrient responsible for this muscle tissue repair is protein. There is no substitute for that. We need protein in our post-workout nutrition regardless of age, gender, or ability level.
Also when we workout, we utilize our body’s most powerful fuel source, muscle glycogen. Muscle glycogen is stored carbohydrate in the body. Post-workout, when we have used a good portion (if not all) of our stored muscle glycogen, we want to include carbohydrates to bring those levels back up.
Every athlete is different so use the following as a rough guideline to get started. Take notes on how you feel and perform and then we can fine tune everything from there.
Protein and Carbohydrate Quantity
Protein: Between 20-40 grams post-workout. 20g leans towards our smaller athletes, where 40g leans towards our larger athletes. This window is a safe spot to work in, and when in doubt, round up. Don’t exceed 40g post-workout but we’d much rather see you get a little bit extra here than not enough. Not enough is where we generally see problems in inability to recover from workouts.
Carbohydrates: Vary this amount with your workout. The longer our conditioning session is, the more muscle glycogen we will deplete. Here are some examples to get us started:
Example: Back Squat: Heavy Set of 3
0g Carbohydrates Needed
Between 3-8 Minutes
Between 8-15 Minutes
Between 15-25 Minutes
Super Long (Think ‘Murph’ or Smykowski’)
Protein and Carbohydrate Quality
Protein: It’s ok to get away from whole foods here and go with a protein shake. If you’d like to stick a very strict whole foods approach here, good on you, and seek out low-fat animal protein sources such as egg whites, chicken breast, or fish. If you choose this route, aim for roughly 3-5oz of lean meat to hit that 20-40g goal of protein.
For those who would have a hard time putting down chicken breasts post-workout, we recommend a protein shake. Supplement companies rant and rave on how their protein is the best and brightest but the truth is that any whey protein isolate or hydrolysate will do the job. We choose whey protein powder over others (such as casein powder) because whey digests in the body quicker than the others. Read the back of the label to learn how much protein is in each scoop (usually ~20g) and to make sure you aren’t putting in additives or junk in your body while trying to do good for yourself. We are big fans of a quality protein company called Ascent Protein.
Carbohydrates: Some added flexibility with your choices here, with the goal of choosing a starchy carbohydrate post-workout. Two excellent choices are bananas or sweet potatoes. For reference:
A medium-sized banana is roughly 25g of carbs.
For sweet potatoes, a medium sized baked sweet potato (about 4oz) is 25g of carbs.
We recommend sweet potatoes over fruit post-workout. A very, very quick explanation is because sweet potatoes are faster in converting to muscle glycogen. Sweet potatoes are dense in “glucose,” which translates faster than fruit’s “fructose.” Just like with our protein, we want to get our carbohydrates digested and into the muscles ASAP. The faster we do, the faster we recover. That being said, we are still big fans of fruit post-workout. You’ll notice several fellow members having bananas or apples after class and this is the very reason why. This is how we recover from our workouts quicker. In fact, if you catch me hanging out after I just took the 6:30am class, you’ll often see me crushing a small red box of California raisins.
Try slicing your sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch slices, top them with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until soft. One word? BOOYAH!
Post-Workout Nutrition Applied
Now let’s put this info into real-world CV workouts to visualize a few examples:
Noel on “Workout A”:
Clean and Jerk: Build to a Heavy Triple
Worked up to 105-lbs
Followed by “Alarm Clock”
30 Double Unders
10 Clean and Jerks (95/65)
Noel is shooting for 20g protein and 25g carbs. She chooses: 1 scoop of whey protein powder along 1 medium-sized banana.
Brad on “Workout B”:
50/35 Calorie Row
3 Rounds of “Kelly”
50/35 Calorie Row
Brad is looking for 30g protein and 40g carbs. He chooses 1.5 scoops of whey protein and 8 oz of baked sweet potato circles with cinnamon.
1. Our body is a sponge post-workout and is craving the nutrients we are feeding it here. Protein and carbohydrate utilization are greatly increased, given the state we are in after we hit a hard workout. If these high carbohydrate recommendations surprise you, know that the negative effects of a high carb meal are mitigated in this window. All of those incoming nutrients are driven straight to the muscles, where they need to be, and not to the fat stores. So have at it. Sweet potato up!
2. Minimize fat post-workout. Fat is great throughout the day, as it slows the digestion of food, and is an excellent slow-burning fuel source. However, in the post-workout window, we want those proteins and carbohydrates to digest into the body ASAP, expediting our recovery. Since fat would slow that process down, let’s keep it out of the post-workout meal.
3. Pre-plan. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Yes, it would be so convenient if next door to the gym was a shop selling whey shakes, baked sweet potatoes, and fresh fruit but that’s not currently the case. Bring your post-workout meal to the gym and enjoy it on your way home or as you cool down with mobility. Shoot to have your meal within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.
4. Have a well-balanced meal 1-2 hours later, rich in whole proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats.
As always, reach me at my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have. These are some examples of where to start but not where to end! Take note of how you feel and perform and we’ll fine tune the machine from there! Love you guys!
**Save the Dates**
Friday, Nov 13 – TVCH Food Drive WOD in each class
Sunday, Nov 22 – Friendsgiving, 5pm
Thursday, Nov 26 (Thanksgiving) – 7:30am & 8:30am
Friday, Nov 27 (Black Friday) – Open Gym, 8am – 12pm
Saturday, Nov 28 – Regular Schedule
Sunday, Nov 29 – Regular Schedule