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The Post Workout Recovery Nutrition, whether in a form of a drink or real food, has been a favorite topic of mine.
The question is, What is the correct ratios of Carbs, Protein and Fats?
Of course, it depends on your sport, intensity and duration. Ambient temperature also plays a major role.
For more information on post workout recovery drinks, read Recovery Drinks with 4:1 Carbs Protein ratio, What is the Best Protein Recovery Drink for Sprinters?, and Nutrition for Recovery – Post Workout Drink Controversy which discusses the differences in carb:protein ratios.
I wrote this article about Proglycosyn for Geezerjock magazine in the summer of 2005. I have permission from Geezerjock’s editor to reproduce and distribute this. To view the original article, click here.
Even ZERO CARBS in the post-workout recovery drink is trending. To increase your natural HGH release, you should have ZERO CARBS in the post workout recovery drink. But if you want to maximize recovery, Science recommends a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. But if you want HGH, you are better off with a high quality protein shake with little or no carbs. That’s your tradeoff. Younger professional athletes should focus on recovery and performance (because your paycheck depends on it), but if you are an old geezer like me, it may be worth a try.
Below is a great interview with Trent Stellingwerff courtesy of Athletics Illustrated. Here is a snippet of the relevant portions:
CHRISTOPHER KELSALL: A few years ago you had a peer-reviewed article published, titled, ‘Co-ingestion of carbohydrate with protein does not augment post-exercise protein synthesis’. The apparent good effects of eating carbs and protein after exercise is now a very popular myth. So no more Oh Henry’s for me after a run. In your opinion what then is the best way to augment protein synthesis or is there a way or do you recommend to just eat?
Trent Stellingwerff: This is a study I was involved with during my post-doctorate fellowship that I did at Maastricht University in The Netherlands (right near Liege, Belgium). The focus of this study was exclusively on post-exercise muscle protein synthesis, where we asked the question of whether it was just dietary protein needed to optimize protein synthesis post-exercise, or does it need to be combined with carbohydrate to optimize the responses (e.g. added calories and/or insulin from the carbs). Long story short, which several other newer studies have now confirmed, for muscle protein synthesis post-exercise, just protein is needed to optimize this recovery parameter.
However, the title of this paper is a bit deceiving, and I want to stress that both protein and carbohydrate are needed for recovery after hard training. Protein is needed to optimize protein synthesis, but carbohydrate is needed to optimize muscle and liver glycogen re-synthesis. After hard training (not a 30min run), most athletes should aim for about 15 to 25g of protein and about 60 to 100g of carbohydrate – depending on the athlete’s body weight and length and or intensity of workout. This can come from sports nutrition, or just food. Timing is the key! Both of these processes, along with re-hydration form the three main things to consider during recovery and after hard training, should occur right away.
For most of the masses who just do 30min runs, an aggressive post-exercise nutritional recovery protocol is probably not needed (they would just needed re-hydrate and ingest a much lower level of protein and carbs, and thus much lower calories). They might be the most “recovered” athlete in the world, but they also will probably end up with more non-functional body mass than they desire.