Post workout Meal: surplus

Hi there!
I would like to know which are the best post workout meals you can do to recover fatigue, and easly add calories to your total count.

Goal is weight gain, muscle gain, or how do you call it bulking.

The meal should be: easy, cheap, fast.
The calories intake for this meal should range from at least 100calories to 200calories.

I was obviously thinking about dried fruits, or just a banana, but those I eat yet during the day.

I would like to listen to any of your suggestion, and what do you do to increase your caloric intake with the post workout meal

Well right off the bat, you are forgetting about the most important nutrient for training recovery: protein!

YES, carbs are important to replenish the muscle glycogen you used during the workout (which is less than what most people think), a workout in which you do (let’s say) 100-120 repetitions will “use” around 20-30g worth of carbohydrates (maybe a bit more if most of these are big compound lifts). Furthermore, glycogen replenishment isn’t time-sensitive, meaning that as long as you have a sufficient carbs surplus during your day, you will replenish glycogen stores. Sure, ingesting them close to the workout will replenish the reserves faster due to an increase in insulin sensitivity and GLUT-4 activation. But at the end of the day, the glycogen stores will still be replenished if enough carbs are consumed.

Protein, however, is a bit more time-sensitive. Getting protein, especially fast-absorbed protein, ideally rich in leucine (like whey or casein) will increase muscle protein synthesis more than the workout alone. So basically, the workout increases protein synthesis (which is what leads to muscle growth) but adding protein right after the workout increases the magnitude of the protein synthesis even more (thus facilitating muscle growth).

Interestingly, adding carbs to the post-workout protein doesn’t further increase protein synthesis.

The bottom line is that your priority for immediately post-workout is an easily absorbed protein source.

You can add carbs to initiate glycogen replenishment, but it is less crucial than protein.

I favor a protein shake post-workout and will add an easily digestible carb source, I like pineapple, blueberries, oranges/tangerines or grapes. But dried fruits or a banana can work.

Now you gonna say that protein powder is expensive. Well, if you look at MD protein (the best you can find), it’s 50$ for 30 servings. So it’s around 1.70$ per serving.

Add some fruits or dried fruits to that and it might cost you a total of 2.50 - 3$, for the meal, which is nothing (less than a Starbuck coffee).

You can vary your carbs sources. But please, do not skimp on the protein.

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Thanks for your detailed info.
My first goal is to bulk and build muscles, so I would go with protein and mix with dried fruits.

But, I take protein shake within the morning breakfast too.
So what should I do?

AFAIK 1g of protein powder equals to 4 calories

I don’t understand the follow-up question? He recommended protein and fruit, and you said you would take protein and fruit but now you don’t know what to do? What do you mean?

For what it’s worth, my favorite post-workout meals:

  • Metabolic Drive and pineapple for practicality
  • Shrimp and grits for the comfort food
  • Chicken and rice when I’m feeling bro-y

I have carbs during my workout (Surge Workout Fuel), so I’m not super stressed on getting those in. I typically train first thing in the morning, so post-workout is my first real meal of the day.

The “rules” for building my post-workout meal are based on macros vs calories. Yes macros add up to calories, but each macronutrient has a specific benefit so it makes more sense to plan those and let the calories fall where they must.

So, the rules for me are:

  • 30-40g of fast-absorbing protein
  • 25-35g of carbs
  • <10g of fats

Why are those the macros and how might you adjust, you may rightly ask?

For the protein, I do believe there is a minimal leucine threshold to begin muscle protein synthesis (this is basically building new muscle proteins, which is kinda our whole goal here). That seems to be around 3g, which you’ll get from ~30g of high-quality protein. There are other strategies you can use, like leucine-spiking, but let’s not complicate our world right now. Now what do I mean by fast-digesting? Basically I want the protein to already be somewhat broken down or at least low-fat. Metabolic Drive is already somewhat processed, doing some of the work for your digestive system, so it gets into your bloodstream faster. (Biotest has a premium product called Mag-10, but, again, let’s not get more complex than necessary). White fish seems to be next followed by chicken.

Now onto the carbs. My goal is not to gain weight and I already had some carbs while I was training, so I stay pretty low here. This is an area where you may double or even triple what I’m doing if you’re struggling to gain weight. Why are we having carbs in the first place? In the old days, we thought they would spike insulin and shuttle all the nutrients into our muscle cells. It now seems that the post-workout meal is too late (which is one of the reasons for having the carbs during the workout) and several studies have demonstrated that additional carbohydrate intake doesn’t increase muscle protein synthesis or even the acute insulin spike in the presence of sufficient protein! So why do we care? I still believe replenishing muscle glycogen relatively quickly greatly improves my recovery - it’s not just about how that last session went, it’s when can I go again. I choose relatively “clean” sources here that are still easy to digest; rice and fruit is awesome, candy and pop-tarts aren’t cutting it anymore (but it was cool when I was 16!).

Why so little fat? This is one meal I actually want digested quickly, and fat slows absorption. At other points during the day, that can actually be a terrific strategy. I say under 10g, but I’m not insane about it; this is just not the meal where I’m having a bunch of whole eggs and avocado and that kind of thing. I want that rapid absorption of protein and carbs, which was the whole point of the above. Again, for context, it’s early morning for me so I’m likely having a meal of whole eggs and turkey sausage a couple hours after this - hence I don’t fear the hunger that tends to come shortly after a really low fat meal (I welcome it, like Batman).

So that’s a long way of saying: MD and fruit are perfect following a workout.

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There is nothing against using a shake a both times. But if you only want to use one shake per day, take it post-workout.

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I think i would go with proteins at breakfast when I do not workout. Then, I’ll take it as post-workout meal, when i do workout

Thanks! So much!

What if we don’t take the enought leucine intake?
How do we know we are doing protein systesis?

That’s good. But make sure that you have enough protein from solid food in your breakfast on your training days.

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Then your meal is not maximally effective at stimulating growth. But there is still some growth.

Now, if you look at protein powders, it will typically have enough leucine. 11% of the protein content tends to be leucine. So a normal serving will give you around 3g, which is enough (3-5g is what we want).

As for normal foods, leucine content varies depending on the food.

Here are some examples:

100g of turkey provides around 2g of leucine
100g of ham provides around 2.2g of leucine
100g of emmanthal cheese provides around 2.7g of leucine
100g of parmesan cheese provides around 2.9g of leucine
100g of tuna provides around 2g of leucine
100g of salmon provides around 2g of leucine
100g of beef provides around 2.3g of leucine
100g of chicken provides around 2.6g of leucine

Etc.

So consuming 150g of any of these per meal, or a combination leading to 150g (e.g. 100g of beef + 50g of parmesan cheese) will give you the necessary leucine to optimize the meal.

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You don’t. But if you train and you eat protein, it will be elevated.

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