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In last week’s “Coaches’ Corner” we discussed glucose and the glycemic index (GI), and how those relate to your pre-workout fueling. The importance of the GI being that we need to find foods that are easily converted into glucose for the cells to use, while at the same time remaining in the bloodstream long enough for you to be powered through the entirety of your workout. But what happens when the workout is finished, the weights are back in the rack, and you are headed home from the gym; what are the nutrition guidelines you should follow then? We’re glad you asked.

As you probably already know, our muscles are stressed and literally torn down through the course of an intense resistance workout, causing the body to respond by using protein to rebuild the muscles stronger and leaner each time. However, what might be less well-known is the timing and the amount of protein that you should ingest in order for your body to gain the best results.

Immediately following a workout, your muscle cells are starved for nutrients (ie glucose to replenish their energy stores, and protein to rebuild the torn fibers). As a result, we have a window of opportunity that is about 30-45min long to take in protein in order to prevent the body from going into a catabolic state and lose the benefit of the workout session. Additionally it is important to know that you should “roughly” take in about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, spread out over multiple feedings where you are taking about 30g per meal. So, if you are a person that weighs 180lbs, you should shoot to take in 30g of protein, 6 times each day, one of those times being immediately after your workout.

So, as you can see, what we put into our bodies is very important in terms of what we ultimately get out of our bodies. Feeding it the right way, both before AND after our workouts will make a huge impact on how quickly you will adapt from your time in the gym, and therefore, how quickly you will hit those goals that you set out for yourself!

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