The post-workout meal is the most important meal of your day when it comes to muscle growth and recovery. Nevertheless, many people fail to eat the right post-workout meal. When you workout, you develop small tears in the muscle fibers and connective tissue. Your muscles will attempt to rebuild and become stronger, adapting to the trauma you put your muscles through in the past workout. You need nutrients to replenish your body and muscles into growth and recovery.
Your post-workout meal needs two extremely important things: protein and carbohydrates. Stay away from fat within one hour after you workout. The reason for this is because fat slows down digestion, which correlates to less protein and carbohydrates being absorbed into the body when the body needs it most. Carbohydrates refuel your depleted glycogen levels and protein will halt catabolism and turn your body into an anabolic machine guiding in the rebuilding process.
A great example of a post-workout meal is 1-2 scoops of whey protein in water. Water is better than milk because milk can have fat in it. Even if you drink skim milk, water is digested in the body much better than milk. In terms of carbohydrates, an apple (or other piece of fruit), Goldfish, pretzels, crackers and other similar foods are ideal. You can have any type of carbohydrates as long as it isn’t pure junk food. As long as you have protein, you should have a variety of carbohydrates. Try to have approximately 40-50 grams of fast-digesting protein and 100 grams of fast-digesting carbohydrates if you are bulking or 40 g of carbs if you are cutting approximately 30 minutes after you workout. An hour after that, you should have a generally large meal. At this time you should have a solid protein choice, some complex carbohydrates, and some fats.