I have to admit that I don’t normally recommend supplements to my clients. It seems like the trend here in Los Angeles is to keep it natural. At least when it comes to food that is. Alas, one of my clients recently asked me about drinking a shake after his workout. The reason being, it takes him 45 minutes to an hour to get home from the gym after work and he’s starving.
The most important time to eat when training is right after your workout. The 90 minute following a workout is when your muscles are at their hungriest. If eating real food packed with carbohydrates and protein is out of the question, well the next best thing is picking a post workout supplement. Most gyms usually have a selection of drinks and shakes that will suffice, but the most important thing is to make sure you are getting what you need. After a workout your muscles have been slightly torn and its your job to make sure they get what they need to rebuild. Depending on what your goal is, whether it’s fat lose or muscle gain will determine the carbohydrate to protein ratio you’ll be looking for in a shake. Many people think that the most important macronutrient to consume after a workout is protein and to consume carbohydrates will slow down there muscle growth, when the exact opposite is true. Your body needs carbohydrates to spike your insulin levels which in turn will help your body distribute the proteins needed for muscle repair.
So if you are looking to loss weight and tone up your best bet is to drink a post workout shake that contains a 1:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein with a caloric value of round 200. If your goal is to gain mass then you would up your consumption as high as a 4:1 ratio with a caloric value of 25% of your total daily calories. For example if you are consuming 3000 calories to gain mass, you should be consuming up to 750 calories post workout.
This is a very general look at post workout shakes and supplements. If your interested in doing a little more in depth research here is a good site that discusses Pre and Post Workout Nutrition.