Nutritional makeup – Healthy fats are amazing, but right after a workout you’ll want to limit them to ensure quick nutrient absorption. As for your other macronutrients, a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein is generally a safe bet.
- According to Healthline
, it’s recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) right after a workout. That adds up to 21g-34g for a 150 pound person.
Carb Count – This can vary by the type of exercise you’re doing. For example, a marathon runner training for a race will need more carbs than a bodybuilder. A good baseline amount of carbohydrates is 0.5g per pound of body weight (75g for that 150 pound person).
Timing – Research suggests that there is a specific window of time after our workouts that our bodies can benefit the most from a post-workout meal. This window of time ends about 30 minutes after a cardio-only workout, and about 2 hours after a strength workout.
Why a Protein Shake?
Protein shakes seem to be the post-workout of choice for bodybuilders everywhere. You could have a whole food meal after a workout and achieve very similar results, but there are lots of great reasons to opt for a shake or smoothie instead.
For one thing, a meal doesn’t always sound appetizing immediately after a workout. We’re trying to get some good nutrition in right after a workout, and an ice-cold shake is typically more appealing than, say, a bowl of oatmeal or a chicken salad.
A shake will also digest faster
, meaning your body will absorb the nutrients faster and there’s a stronger chance that you’ll meet your window of opportunity.
A third reason why shakes may be the best choice is because you can control the nutrient content and include lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals along with your macronutrients.
Let’s take a look at some of the amazing ingredients in the post-workout recovery shake recipe below and see what all the fuss is about!