For several years now, post-workout nutrition has been studied rather extensively. These studies have shown that intaking a shake (consisting of simple sugars and whey protein) immediately following your workout greatly assists in muscle recovery replenishment.
The results of these studies have shown such positive results from using these shakes, I doubt that you can find a fitness expert who doesn't advocate their use regularly. Is this the best protocol for everyone to follow? Let's look at this objectively and answer this question once and for all.
In my experience, I have found that post-workout nutrition is very important for the reasons mentioned above. If your goal is to gain weight, these shakes are a great way to consume a lot of "clean" calories at a time when your body is least likely to store these calories as fat.
Following a tough workout, your muscles energy stores will be depleted. Depleted muscles are hungry for replenishment and therefore soak up the majority of calories ingested at this time. This makes less calories available to be directed towards body fat stores.
But let's revisit exactly what our primary goal is: Fat loss! Do you really think that it is a good idea to chug a sugary shake every time you train if your goal is to lose body fat? How can a high-sugar shake really help to enhance your fat burning efforts? The truth is that it doesn't. In fact, I believe that this practice is counter productive for trainees with a fat loss goal.
I've read through all of the research and the truth is that none of these studies were performed on subjects whose primary goal is to lose body fat. So I decided to do my own studies. I experimented with the standard post-workout shake with all of my fat loss clients. Their fat loss results slowed substantially. Based on these findings, I no longer recommend these shakes to my fat loss clients.
So now what do we consume after a workout? The answer is surprisingly simple. Just eat a meal! Don't worry about the perfect blend of whey protein, the proper glycemic index, etc. This is nonsense. For fat loss, eat a regular meal. This meal should be structured like any one of your daily meals. I do recommend that you eat this meal within one hour after your workout.
Without fail, you will lose body fat faster with natural, solid food. So if burning body fat rapidly is your goal, forget about using post-workout shakes. Eat a great meal and say goodbye to your body fat.
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