Have you ever wondered: What is the best type of food to consume post workout? Not too long ago I addressed the importance of carbohydrate and protein consumption after a workout. If you read the blog then you are aware that these two macro nutrients are key for restoring muscle glycogen, providing workout recovery, and aiding in protein synthesis post workout.
But what about the FAT?
So that leaves the question: Should you consume fat post workout? This is where things get tricky. Historically there have not been a lot of case studies regarding the topic, making it tough to know based on the available data. I personally recommend that bikini competitors keep fat lower. I typically recommend that athletes consume less than 10-15 grams post workout. Why you ask?
Based on the evidence we do know regarding fats, they are slower to digest compared to carbs and lean proteins. This is also true in high fiber foods. Because the consumption of fats may slow down digestion, it could effect the breakdown and absorption rate of carbohydrates and proteins.
It is my recommendation to consume faster digesting carbs post workout as well as lean proteins. Some good examples of fast digesting carbs are: fruit, jasmine rice, white potato, waffles, pancakes, Pop Tarts etc. Low fat/lean proteins: whey protein powder, egg whites, chicken breast etc.
At the end of the day, there is no hard evidence showing that fats should be avoided after exercise, or for that matter, that fats reduce the benefits of protein synthesis and glycogen restoration after lifting weights. It is clear however, that consuming them during your workout can be disruptive as they are more difficult to break down in the gut.
So what can the body digest most efficiently post workout? For carbohydrates it is around 60 to 65 grams of carbohydrates per hour. For most bikini competitors I recommend 25-45 grams post workout. However, it’s important to note, that if you include a third of your protein serving with the post workout meal then you may only need around 30 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This number can be even less for a bikini competitor at 20-25 grams when consumed with protein, depending on the individual.
In conclusion, because fats can be more difficult to digest, it is of my opinion that avoiding fats can be more effective post workout. Stick to fast digesting carbs & lean proteins post workout and as always be sure to focus primarily on keeping within your macros throughout the day. In the long run it’s eating for your goals consistently that will create your results!