You rock into the gym on a Monday morning and feel like it is going to be a good week of training! You get into the workout and give it your all because hey that’s just what you do! At the end of the workout you grab your gear still sweating your ass off, head home have a shower, get changed and go to work. When you get to work as soon as you walk through the door you are swamped with small talk from your colleagues then your boss calls you in to discuss the tasks they want you to do during the week. Come 10 or maybe 11am you finally get to sit down and have something to eat.
Does this sound like a typical day to you?
If you don’t have a plan you’re planning to fail!
If you currently don’t have a plan then I want to share mine with you. I want you to use it for yourself and notice the difference in your performance not only in the gym but at work and how much quicker you can recover between workouts. I like to think about these 3 simple processes which I need to get me ready for training the next day.
For CrossFitters muscle glycogen is the major fuel source used by the body during exercise . If you do not replenish lost glycogen stores once exercise is complete you will notice a decrease in performance during your workday and for further workouts that week. To replenish muscle glycogen post workout you must consume carbohydrates. The window for this intake is 20-30 minutes post workout. The amount for each individual will vary depending on workout intensity, whether you’re male or female and your size and weight. My favourite post workout snack includes 250mL of Orange juice (Nudie Juice) or a small apple or banana.
High intensity exercise causes a very large breakdown of muscle protein. Post exercise your body is turning from the catabolic process of breaking muscle down while you train to the anabolic processes of building muscle. To assist the body in the anabolic process of rebuilding it is important that you eat some form of protein. The sooner you do this the better and again it is widely suggested this happens in the 20-30 minute window post workout. Now if you’re anything like me you probably don’t feel like eating a big steak and veg dinner so I choose to use a protein supplement. True Protein is my go to. When selecting a protein supplement it is important to ensure it provides 25-30g of protein per serve. Your body cannot digest more than 28g in one sitting so any more than that would be a waste.
This combination of protein and carbohydrates in your post workout snack will increase your rate of protein synthesis which is the rate at which protein is absorbed by the body. This accelerated protein synthesis rate is due to the natural sugars contained in the fruit assisting faster absorption of protein into the body.
Rehydration is also an important factor. Whatever you sweat out you must put back in. Remember that your protein shake and orange juice can count towards this fluid intake total it doesn't just have to be water. If you are not currently having either protein or juice and forget your water bottle then you’re missing all 3 at once.
There are so many different measurements out there but one which I have stuck to and has not failed me is 35mL per kg of bodyweight. For me this means 3L of water per day or 4 refills of a 750mL pump bottle. I personally like to work out how many refills of my bottle it is and it makes it much easier to remember.
This is not a use once and you will instantly notice the difference kind of plan. It is something you must practice and experiment with to get right for you. It has taken me lots of trial and error with different timings and supplements to find what worked best for me.
Implement this for a couple of weeks and I can guarantee you will notice an increase in performance not only at the gym and during your workouts but also at work and the time it takes you to recover between workouts. Post workout nutrition is a game changer!
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