Whether you've been working out for years or you've just started your personal fitness journey, there's no shortage of information about workout programs, diets, and pre-workout supplements. However, one crucial part of exercise nutrition that many people forget to think about is post-workout meal planning.
Plenty of people finish up a grueling workout and just go about their business without even thinking about a post-workout meal. Others use working out as an excuse to indulge in a high-calorie sweet treat or a giant meal, thinking they've earned it because of all their effort. That might be a fun way to rationalize some of your favorite high-calorie foods, but you're not doing yourself any favors if you eat that way.
Post-Workout Meal Planning is Crucial Post-workout meals aren't just for those who are trying to build muscle. In fact, post-workout nutrition is crucial for weight loss, too. No, you don't need to have a full, prepared meal ready to go, as post-workout nutrition is one of the best places to introduce supplements into your planning. The convenience factor is obvious, but the fact that liquid meals (protein shakes) made with quality ingredients are easier to digest and get into your system quickly are huge benefits. Plus, making your own post-workout shake puts you in complete control of any additional calories you may or may not need.
The Ideal Post-Workout Meal For most people, an easy-to-mix shake is perfect for after exercise. The required calorie count and nutritional breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fat will vary between individuals based on bodyweight, body/fitness goals, and your overall activity among other factors, but, the common factor will almost always be a high-quality protein source.
The Best Protein Source There are countless protein powders to choose from, but some are absolutely better than other-by a long shot! A quick look at the list of ingredients will let you know what to stay away from. Fast-acting whey is the best for post-workout protein shakes because it gets into your system quickly. Titanium Isolate Supreme is the best fully hydrolyzed whey protein you'll find, while there is while Pure Titanium Whey is a great all-around, cost-effective whey source to suit your protein needs.
If you follow a vegan diet or simply find yourself trying to taper off of animal-sourced proteins, then Rawfusion is not only the best plant-based protein you'll find, it also happens to be the most delicious. Plus, its amino acid profile is equal to that of milk-based protein so it's ideal for everyone.
Each one of these options delivers high protein, great taste, and solid nutrition, regardless of your health and fitness goals.
Depending on the flavor of protein powder you choose, you can mix it with just about anything to add some variety. Water is always the easiest for mixing and adds no calories, but your favorite fruit juice, milk, almond milk, or other liquid can work for added nutrition. The benefit of fruit juice is that you get some good post-workout carbohydrates that get into your system immediately, but even if you use water or a milk product, you can also add your favorite fruit, peanut butter, or other ingredients to turn your post-workout protein shake into a full post-workout liquid meal. Or, if you want it to be more like a meal with just a shaker cup, you can always have some fresh fruit with your post-workout protein shake instead. That's perfect if you're on the go or simply don't feel like breaking out an electronic blender.