Here’s some recent research on post-workout meals:
“A recent 12-week study says that those who failed to consume a post workout meal immediately after their workouts suffered a lower metabolism, loss of fat free mass, and had clear indications of muscle loss – while their counterparts (those who consumed a post workout recovery meal) significantly lost more fat, increased lean muscle, improved their metabolism, and increased dynamic strength.”
1. Post-workout meals are actually vitally important for BOTH muscle building and losing body fat!
Always remember that one of the most important considerations of long term body fat loss and maintaining a lean body for life is raising your overall metabolic rate by building and maintaining adequate lean muscle mass throughout your entire body.
By consuming a good post workout meal after every workout, you assist your body in repairing and building lean muscle throughout your whole body. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate (even when resting)… hence, you lose fat easier and faster, and it is MUCH easier to stay lean in the long term.
2. Are whole foods or supplement shakes best? This can actually be done either way, but I am going to show you some guidelines why some post-workout shakes are better than others and some whole foods are better than others. Either way, it can work.
First, keep in mind that your goal throughout the majority of each day is eating small whole food meals frequently that digest slowly with high fiber and a controlled glycemic response (blood sugar). These normal daily meals should also contain healthy fats and slowly digested proteins to maintain a steady supply of amino acids.
When it comes to post-workout meals, you can just about use the exact opposite strategy of your normal meals. With post-workout meals, you actually want a faster digesting carb source to stimulate an insulin response. This helps to push nutrients and glycogen back into your muscle cells for repair. Remember, this is not just important for building muscle, but also for losing fat.