Why do we need to eat after working out? Generally speaking, we consume post-workout carbohydrates and protein in order to replenish our energy stores, repair and rebuild muscles, and improve recovery.
Replenish glycogen stores.
Glycogen is the energy that your body produces from carbohydrates. Exercising at a high intensity through a CrossFit or BRX workout makes it important to replenish those glycogen stores. Doing multiple, high intensity workouts close to each other? It is extra important to replenish glycogen storage in between workouts.
You not only use glycogen stores to fuel yourself during your workout, but your body breaks down your muscles as you work. Of course, they need to be put back together and repaired afterwards! Consuming protein after your workout helps to stop protein breakdown and encourage protein synthesis, also known as muscle rebuilding.
Which foods should you pick for post-workout consumption? We want to eat foods that the body breaks down as quickly as possible to get the most benefit. 20-30g of protein from a protein shake (whey or plant-based) stimulates protein synthesis more quickly than the same amount of protein from a whole food source like chicken. In addition, choose your 20-30g of carbohydrates from a carbohydrate source that is broken down quickly. A simple carbohydrate, like a piece of fruit is the perfect option!
It is important to remember that the macro nutrient numbers you received during your F5 assessment do NOT include your post-workout carbohydrates and protein. Those are listed at the bottom of your intake sheet and do not need to be inputted into your daily tracking. Consume them after your workout without inputting them; otherwise, your My Fitness Pal will tell you that you have gone over your allotted protein and carbohydrates.
Before We Go.
The “Golden Hour” for intake of post-workout carbohydrates and protein is within two hours of your workout. Shoot to consume them within that time frame for optimal absorption and benefit!