Whether your gym session has involved heavy weights, HIIT or fasted cardio your post-work out snack can be an excellent way to restore energy and rebuild muscle. The general rule of thumb is that your protein meal should be consumed within a two-hour time scale, while some schools of thought suggest consumption within 20 minutes. However regimented you decide to be, protein packed snacks need to be part of your routine.
Whilst you’re working out, your body utilises energy stores, breaking down muscle glycogen as well as muscle protein structures. Logically your body will need to replenish these stores and repair the muscle tissue. Consuming the correct carbs can promote a substantial insulin release, which is essential for directing amino acids and energy back into the muscles.
How do we give our bodies the carbs and protein it needs?
Consuming 0.8g of carb per 2.2lbs of body weight ideally within 30 to 60 minutes after your workout is what you should be aiming for, outside of this and you may miss your insulin window. You should also try to consume 0.2 to 0.4g of protein per 2.2lbs of body weight. However important the amounts are, the source is also important.
The resounding answer according to a survey conducted on Twitter and Facebook was that a reliable good quality source of protein is paramount. Yet with so many brands available, all making scientifically charged benefit claims, in the end personal preference will always prevail.
My current personal favourite protein powder is a vegan product by Genetic Supplements. I cannot use whey due to an allergy and have struggled to find a good protein. This is a great tasting product that has high-protein and great amino profiles.
If you are a vegan athlete you will know how difficult it is to find a good protein with a protein content equalling a whey product. 35g per 50g serve is a great level. Their vegan recovery product brings a fantastic profile with a different intention.
My egg white is a liquid form that I buy online in a bottle from either GoNutrition or Bulkpowders. I find it easier to store them like this and they keep for a long time, plus I don’t like wasting the yolks from splitting a whole egg. Egg protein is commonly considered to be an excellent source that is easily utilised by the body with the highest biological value of all the whole foods. The type of protein contained in an egg is most efficiently used for growth by the body. A spinach omelette after training would provide you with one of the most alkaline foods; laced with iron and phytoecdysteroid, a plant steroid, this has shown to have potential beneficial effects on human muscle growth.
My chicken fillets are delivered in bulk and come individually steamed, cooked and frozen. Chicken fillets provide 148Kcals, 34g protein, 1g fat, 1g carb and 17BCAA’s. They are great value for money and you will probably find them cheaper than most supermarkets.
Biltong is a low-carb, high-protein snack choice but make sure you check for added ingredients such as salts, wheat and sugars. In fact, if you purchase any store-bought or pre-packaged snack you really need to be aware of the level of sugar contained. Feeding and refuelling your body with a protein bar is okay, but try to look for ones with at least 15g to 30g of protein and which have less than 10g of sugar with the fewest number of unrecognisable items listed in the ingredients. In a survey I conducted, PhD diet whey bars and quest were the most popular choices, and these bars also ranked well in a protein bar comparison article on my blog: www.medicinalkitchen.wordpress.com. www.thesavanna.co.uk/butchery/m-eat-beef-biltong
You could also use cottage cheese, whey, casein, rice cakes or cereals, almond nut butter, almond milk, tuna, salmon or sweet potatoes. Whatever you choose, ensure it’s something your body not only takes effectively but which is easily digested and absorbed. Blending your protein powder with almond milk, yoghurt or even water makes a liquid meal that matches those needs. Liquid meals are easily digested quickly and conveniently. You could add some high GI fruits or a bountifully potassium fuelled banana that will satisfy even the best athletes demanding muscles.
absorbed. Blending your protein powder with almond milk, yoghurt or even water makes a liquid meal that matches those needs. Liquid meals are easily digested quickly and conveniently. You could add some high GI fruits or a bountifully potassium fuelled banana that will satisfy even the best athletes demanding muscles.
You could buy a pre-blended post-work out drink too. These are often protein loaded and low in fat, with a good carb-to-protein ratio and additional electrolytes, essential vitamins and minerals. RTD, USN and Maximuscle all make versions that are well thought of by the fitness bods I’ve spoken to. I also noticed that the MuscleKing Evo X product was popular amongst bodybuilders as it has a higher carb value per serve for the carb backloading/ insulin window/muscle building.
Other products that body sculptors and fitness models seemed to use regularly include T5’s, maltodextrin and fat burners like capsiburn: www.thediethut.co.uk/prod/diet-products/the-diet-hutcapsi-burn-extreme-thermogenic
Whatever your training, diet and lifestyle, needs dictate there will be an emergency product that will suit you. Making good choices is paramount and if you are unsure, ask an expert for advice. There are plenty of sources and it can be confusing trying to choose well. Here is an example of an easy, healthy, and fast snack using some of the products. Definitely no excuses!
This is a take on the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Take 2 gluten-free organic rice cakes, spread a tsp or dessert spoon of Meridian or Bulkpowders smooth almond nut butter on one, and on the other a tsp of Walden Farms raspberry ‘jam’. Put them together and enjoy your snack. Lidl have now started providing their customers with a gluten-free range, which includes rice cakes by Kelkin.