For weightlifters, the food they eat immediately after their workout is the most crucial meal of the day, as it is used to halt catabolism (the process of muscle tissue breakdown) and initiate the process of anabolism (the process of muscle tissue growth). The quicker the body flips the switch activating muscle growth, the more muscle the bodybuilder stands to gain. Thus, effective post-workout nutrition is key to building as much bulk as your body will allow. Here are some post-workout menu ideas that will help you get that ripped look you've always wanted.
Post-Workout Meal Theory
Dr. John Berardi, Ph.D., wrote his seminal dissertation on the mechanisms of post-workout nutrition. Through his research, he found that a combination of rapidly absorbed carbs combined with a fast-acting protein in a two-to-one ratio is best for halting catabolism, as this combination spikes insulin, shuttling protein and nutrients into the muscle cells and promoting fast recovery.
Menu Idea Number One---Custom Supplementation
The best way to meet your body's needs is by purchasing a supplement specifically designed to restore what your body lost. For instance, the product Surge Recovery was specifically designed by Berardi after he completed his doctoral research and is quickly halts catabolism and initiates anabolism.
Menu Idea Number Two---Liquid Meal
If you do not want to purchase a specific post-workout drink, consider making your own shake by combining fast-digesting whey protein and relatively fast-acting carbohydrates. For example, a whey protein smoothie mixed with milk and berries is an effective way to get nutrients into the muscle fairly rapidly.
Menu Idea Number Three---Liquid Meal on a Budget
If you are strapped for cash or do not want to buy a protein powder you can use low-fat chocolate milk as a post-workout drink substitute. It contains rapidly digested sugary carbs and a reasonable amount of protein. While this is not as ideal as the previous two solutions it is still a reasonable attempt at post-workout nutrition.
Menu Idea Number Four---Solid Meal
There are also solid meal alternatives, though they digest less rapidly than liquid meals by their very nature, so this choice is inferior to the previous three options. However, you can also combine a fast-acting solid carb such as white rice with a lean protein source such as chicken to fulfill your needs. Keep fat content to a minimum, as it tends to slow the digestive process.