Good Morning & Happy Monday!
I just got back from a weekend in New Jersey and I can’t wait to share that trip with you soon. I know it’s recap Monday, but today’s post is an important one. I’ve learned so much during the past seven years of my fitness journey. I’ve learned what works for me, and what doesn’t. I’ve learned what to do and what to definitely NOT do. One of the questions I get asked the most is “should I have a post-workout recovery snack?”, or “doesn’t a post-workout recovery snack cancel out the workout and calories burned?” And don’t worry if you’re also wondering because I used to think the same things. We aren’t born knowing everything; learning is a process. I want to thank Core Power® for sponsoring this post, and I’m excited to share some awesome things that your body does after a workout, and why it’s almost crucial to fuel up after a sweat fest.
Let’s start with the calorie thing. It’s a no-brainer that if you are consuming too many calories and not burning enough calories that your weight could escalate. (That most certainly happens to me.) That is why timing is everything. Your body burns a certain amount of calories throughout the day, even if you’re sitting on the couch. This is called your BMR (basal metabolic rate.) Your basal metabolic rate is the energy used to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and what keeps your entire body functioning. This is why calories are so important, even if you are not active.
Why do calories matter after a workout? Well, the right calories matter. Carbs, Fat, Sugar, Protein; they all make up calories. Not all calories are equal when it comes to repairing and fueling the body before and after a workout. Each calorie has their own superpower, but you have to know when to use it. Choosing the right calories after a workout can help you see results and keep your body functioning properly. Skipping out on a post-workout recovery can be dangerous and actually put a stall on results.
Glycogen levels become low after a workout. If you do not fuel yourself back up (with the proper calories), you could decrease your muscle protein synthesis, and your muscle protein could break down and cause severe soreness. That’ll keep you from hitting the gym consistently. If I workout an hour+ and do not eat a post-workout, I start to fill lightheaded, weak, and tired. It also makes me super hungry later in the evening. It’s important to give your body what it needs when it needs it.
What helps repair muscles and restore your glycogen levels? Carbs & Protein.
Fast-digesting carbs can help prevent your body from using its muscle tissue as energy. It also helps repair and build muscle. The biggest superhero calorie? Protein. Protein will help you repair and build muscle as well. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be, which increases your BMR. Increasing your BMR helps with weight loss. Building muscle also helps you burn more fat. If you don’t like to eat a ton of carbs, just remember, “timing.” Eat your carbs when your body needs it the most. You don’t have to eat carbs all day long to see results, but eat them after a workout. I try to eat low carb throughout the day, but as soon as I leave the gym, I down at least 25g of carbs and 25g of protein within fifteen minutes after a workout.
Back when I was training for my half marathon, I would be weak, lightheaded, and empty in my fuel tank. I always kept a post workout at my ending point. I made sure my post workout had high protein and high carb. Numbers tend to scare people too much when it comes to a post-workout, but that is not what causes weight gain. It’s what you eat later that night, or earlier that day when you don’t need it. If I were to finish my night with cake and ice cream because “I deserved it after a long run,” then yes, that’ll be an issue for my waistline. But, eat what your body needs when you need it. Timing timing timing! Also, I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat cake. If you want cake, eat cake!
Sometimes getting a post-workout can be difficult if we don’t have time. Food can be an excellent source, but it’s not always convenient. While I was training hard for my race, I was introduced to Core Power®. Core Power® is a quality milk-based protein recovery drink. I was having some issues with feeling weak, lightheaded, and just empty on mile ten. It wasn’t dehydration because I always drank water and kept my potassium/sodium levels high. My doctor recommended that I kept a quick fuel, like Core Power®, near mile seven (literally hid it in the bushes) to keep my glycogen levels up. I was having a big issue with storage. I would drink some at mile seven and finish the bottle post-run. It made all the difference in my performance. Core Power® really helps replenish and revitalize the body by building lean muscle and providing the proper energy (calories) to fuel my workouts. There are 26g of high-quality complete protein, the perfect amount for refueling. Core Power® takes away the stress of trying to find a quick post-workout fuel. You can take it anywhere! I love throwing it in my gym bag and heading out.
And because it’s Fall, I wanted to share a delicious post-workout shake that I made after my run and HIIT workout a couple of days ago. My fitness watch said I burned over 950 calories, and I was feeling it. It was time to replenish! I love that all of the protein in Core Power® comes from milk itself. You won’t find any added protein powders. It doesn’t have a grainy or chalky texture. It tastes like pure creamy and vanilla milk. Each bottle of Core Power® contains the two types of naturally occurring protein found in milk: whey (20%) and casein (80%).
Pumpkin Vanilla Core Power® Post-Workout Recovery Shake: 1/2 Frozen Banana, 1 Bottle Vanilla Core Power®, 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree, & 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Spice!
Blend for ten seconds on medium-high! Pour into a glass and sprinkle pumpkin spice on top.
This post-workout tastes like dessert. If you make this before your workout, place it in the freezer, it’s like an ice cream treat by the time you get back! You could use any flavor of Core Power®for this recipe. I am going to try blending the banana with frozen strawberries next.
My boyfriend and I play tennis four times a week, sometimes twice a day. We always bring Core Power® with us in the cooler and split a bottle on the way home. We both get grouchy when we are hungry because of low glycogen levels, so this helps the “hanger.” Do any of you get grouchy when you’re hungry?
I love sharing about health and fitness, but please remember that all bodies are different. You should always consult with your doctor before making any changes!
Core Power® can be found in a ton of convenience and grocery chains across the country. My favorite gas stations even carry it. You can also purchase full cases on Amazon (click here.) It comes in Chocolate, Banana, Strawberry Banana, and Vanilla!
- Do you make sure to squeeze in your post-workout?
- What Fall fitness goals are you working towards?
- Have you ever tried Core Power®? If so, what flavor is your favorite?