The Importance of Post-Workout Nutrition
The post-workout recovery phase - beginning the moment your training session ends - is a critical use-it-or-lose opportunity to make sure your body has everything it needs to respond to your training and produce the maximum strength and conditioning gains possible. The longer you wait to re-supply your body with vital nutrients, the less efficiently your body can utilize them. Many athletes underestimate the importance of the post-workout recovery phase, focusing instead on on preworkout products, hormones, and how they train as the most important factors in their progress. Those are important, but they don't diminish the importance of post-workout nutrition. But the conclusion of a workout, when fatigue and exhaustion are at their highest, is the wrong time to start thinking about post-workout nutrition. So experienced athletes and sports nutrition experts always have their post-workout nutrition strategy planned out in advance.
Post-workout nutritional needs will always include some type of protein supplement and substantial amounts of carbohydrates, but protein powders are very low in carbs. So your protein powder is an incomplete post-workout supplement by itself.
Post-workout formulas are the specialized products that address specific aspects of post-workout nutrition than just protein or carbs. For example, significant quantities of electrolyte minerals are lost during exercise both through normal metabolism and perspiration. These electrolytes are essential to clear thinking and reflexes as well as managing bodily pH and fluid balance. The more fluids you lose during exercise, the more electrolytes you lose, making electrolyte minerals a critical class of post-workout nutrient. Post-workout formulas often include some electrolyte minerals for these reasons. Separate electrolyte products may be a provide much higher amounts. One very good electrolyte-replacement product is NOW Foods Electro Pro. Other post-workout formulas are enhanced protein powders, with a specific ratio of carbs to protein, filling in the nutritional gap in most protein powders. Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery derives its name from this concept and makes a much better post-workout shake than a straight protein powder. Take a look at your own post-workout strategy and let AllStarHealth fill in the gaps that may be holding back your progress.