T Nation

Post-Workout Meal


i would appreciate some help here.
my current post w/o meal consists of Surge(2 scoops) immed. after and 2 bowls cereal (cheerios) and a protien shake (with FF milk) about an hour later right before bed.

i feel good about the rest of my diet (slowly working off the extra pounds from bulking) following the Berardi principles, nutrient timing, carb cycle etc. ive read that high GI foods an hour after working out is what your looking for and the shake is get some protien in before bed.
i should also note budget is an issue. im sure i dont have to mention the cost of a protien rich "clean" diet and this meal is easy and cheap but am i short changing myself?

thanks for your time


Not to sure what you are asking. What you have looks "ok" in my book. From what I read it looks like you are dieting so the second carb meal after Surge is probably not needed. If I were you I would just down some Grow! with some healthy fats and call it a night.

My only gripe I guess would be with the Cheerios, while yes it's a high(er) GI carb, it's very processed. I would opt for some rice or pasta if you are looking to keep the c+p meal before bed.


I usually have cut up apples and fat free yogurt with some cinn.Tastes much betetr to me than cheerios,lol.


Because I'm in college, my post w/o meal depends largely on what is being served in the cafe' that day...

however, a protein shake right after my lift is usually what i would call my post w/o "meal"...

if it were a perfect world, a few pieces of lean chicken, turkey, or steak with a large salad would be my ideal post w/o meal.


thanks for the reply.
i see your point about the cereal being processed. i was looking to try and keep the p + c meal as its my understanding a high gi carb meal about an hour after w/o is optimal for the muscles trained and i dont want to go to bed without the protien.


OK off topic but you dont like the cheerios due to them being highly processed yet you say pasta is a more solid choice. I have to ask when the last time it is you have seen a macaroni bush or spaghetti tree.lol

Pasta is processed from highly processed grains as well.


Lol, macaroni bush! I see your point, and I kinda asked that myself after I read my post. True pasta is not a natural/found in nature food. I guess I just look at it as durum wheat->semolina flour->pasta. Where with cheerios you have about a thousand other not-so-natural ingredients thrown in there.


I don't like it. Here's why:

The P+C meal is too close to your longest fasting state of overnight sleeping. Soon after this meal, your blood sugar will crash and you enter a catabolic state. The negative effects of this are worse than the positive effects of the meal ... keep in mind that you already nailed the immediate PWO meal!

The following are a few of MY suggestions, but make sure bounce this off of Dave Barr and/or Lonnie Lowerie. Both are cool guys, but Barr has cooler hair. (Sorry Lonman)

(1) Keep 2 scoops of Surge, make the pre-bed meal P&F
(2) Increase to 3 (or 4, how big are you?) scoops of Surge, make the pre-bed meal P&F
(3) either (1) or (2), but push the P&F meal out to 90-120 minutes
(4) Keep 2 scoops of Surge, keep the P&C meal, get up again 2-4 hours later and consume a small P&F snack

Align what you do with your goals: slowly working off the pounds and the (second) pre-bed P&C meal are contradictory.

Hope this helps,


i dunno, i JUST got my first thing of Surge today, thank you thank you. before i would have a big ass bowl of oatmeal, maybe some chicken or somethin, and a protein shake.... now ill just be throwin in my Surge



thanks for the response. i hadnt thought much about the blood sugar crash = catabolic state. most diet research examples ive found usually involves mid-day or early evening workouts with 1-3 meals yet to go. my family situation pushes my w/o to 8-10pm and i just never made the diet adjustment for it.
i like the idea of the 3 scoops of Surge and then the shake. not real sure about the fat this late at night. i realise were not talking much fat but i usually get @50g total (centered mainly in the 1st 3 meals). is the fat important to go with the pro. right before bed?
thanks again, your response (and others) is the help i was looking for.


Good fat is good

Really, the only time to avoid fat might be your pre-workout and post workout meals. A little fat with your meal/shake before bed helps slow the release and give you a nice steady feed overnight.

Grow! w/water and olive oil--50/0/15 = 2 big scoops + 1 tbsp olive


What you talking bout Willis? Cheerios is made from whole grains. Why you got beef with Cheerios?


Yo yo yo....I too need to know!


FYI, this is basically what I do as well. I am most often done lifting between 7 and 9 at night. I have a 4 scoop serving of Surge between the last 30 minutes of my session and 30 minutes after the conclusion. About two hours after that I have a big salad with oil and vinegar and a 6 oz bag of precooked chicken. IF I wake up in the middle of the night, I'll have a big spoonful of peanutbutter, some almonds or walnuts, some Hood lowcarb dairy beverage, or a scoop of Low-Carb Grow! and some fish oil. I've done this before ... it works.

To answer your question and reinforce what someone else stated, slow digesting protein and a little fat (for health and to slow digestion even further) are recommended. For me, it's almost always P&F or P&C. The only P only meals I have are just prior to trainig if I haven't eaten in about 3 hours or, as mentioned in the Fasted Cardio Roundtable, prior to a cardio only session.

Ideally, we should target our fat intake towards the end of the day. Working out as we do at night throws a monkey wrench into this. FYI, here's how my meals breakdown:

(1) upon waking P&C (nonfat milk, oats)
(2) lunch #1 ~ 10-11AM P&C (oats)
(3) lunch #2 ~ 2-3PM P&F (fish oil)
(*) sometimes prior to lifting P only
(4) PWO 4 scoops Surge
(5) dinner as mentioned above
(*) middle of night snack as mentioned above

That's 5-7 feedings per day totalling of 3000-4000 calories per day. My P source is almost exclusively Low-Carb Grow! My nutrition is so simple it is scary. Dan John has a note in his diet and nutrition article to list all of the foods you eat during a typical week and suggests that is less than 20. Mine is less than 10:

Low-Carb Grow!
fish oil
salad (lettuce)
peanut butter (go with nuts?)

Again, I hope this helps,


This is from John Berardi:

As far as my position, I assert that glucose tolerance is best during and after exercise (whenever that exercise happens, whether it's morning, afternoon, or evening).

In other words, the absolute best time of the day to ingest dietary carbohydrate -- for both glycogen resynthetic reasons as well as glucose tolerance and insulin management reasons -- is during and within the 2 hours or so after exercise.

As far as the rest of the day (whenever that happens - whether it's the time leading up to exercise or the time after the post-exercise period of high glucose tolerance), folks should eat mostly dietary protein, dietary fat, getting any carbs from veggies, legumes, nuts, and a small to moderate amount of fruit.

I call this "the nutrient timing day" and there are 3 simple phases...

a) The workout phase
b) The post-workout phase
c) The rest of the day phase

This is from me:

Unless John Berardi is only "kidding", then this means that it is better for him to keep doing what he is already doing. Anyone disagree?


The meal one hour later shouldn't be sugary carbs. JB used to advocate high-GI an hour later but if you review his Nutrient Timing recommendations, keep your sugary (i.e. high GI/refined starches) carbs to the time right after your workout, and about an hour later (so you finish the meal within that 2 hour window) eat a mixed meal of good fats, low-GI carbs, and protein.

The P to C should be a 1:1 ratio unlike the first. When I diet, I keep my carbs all low-GI. I get to eat more food, and trying to power down to 2 cups of dry yield oatmeal (~ 100carbs) in the PWO is a challenge.

Here are some good low-GI carb sources to look for:

Brown Rice
Whole Wheat Pasta
True Mixed Grain Bread
Sweet Potatoes
Rolled Oats
Oatbran Cereals
Any Fruits

What works best for me is 100g of medium to high GI carbs and 50g of protein immediately PWO. Then about an hour later I'll have a more fibrous meal based around the sources above.


Sorry if this is a bit of a hijack but are these post W/O suggestions mostly for dieting? I am bulking and looking for post W/O meal ideas. I've read you should avoid fat in this time frame. Foods like chicken or fish wouldn't be recomended because of the lack of carbs. Would I then consume high carb foods like whole wheat pasta, rice, or oats but eat more of it and maybe add grow as well for protein for the meal one hour after W/O? or is my thinking way off?



my posts were aimed either way but leaning towards "dieting".

if bulking ... more calories and specifically more carbs ... this post workout time is one of the best for these carbs.

your thinking is right on ... with that second meal, carbs and protein.

still, last meal or just before bed should be fat and protein ... keep in mind that this thread had different recommendations due to the lifting session being at night.

that help?



from dan
align what you do with your goals...

this has been the best piece of advice ive gotten from any one in a while. changing my thinking/program from a bulking one to "leaning" was/is very difficult. coming from a running (ie very skinny) back ground from many years back ive been in perpetual bulk mode for a long time. over the past few years ive been able to experiment with various diet approachs and workouts to find the one that works with my lifestyle to get the size i wanted (or close to it).

this leaning diet is new to me and i find im trying to fit new specific diet templates to existing workout and eating sched. the problem ive discovered is meal types and times etc. change with workout time, job sched., sleep sched. not to mention how each indiv. responds.

hence the
align what you do with your goals.

the specific "what to eat" examples are great (and what i asked for) but the big picture think about what your doing advice turned out to be what i needed.

i said all that to say this...thanks for the help, im learning just slowly.


thanks to you also.
i wont disagree (of course) but im begining to think i can improve on the quality of carb and/or add something a little later into the evening so im not surviving on some pro. and a lot of high GI carbs for the next 8 hours.

all good food for thought. im working on it.