Episode 31 – What Should Dads Eat After a Workout
0:00:19 – Introducing Q&A Friday
0:01:40 – What to eat after a steady state cardio session
0:03:02 – Protein powders: what you should know
0:05:00 – Fueling up after a high intensity interval workout
0:06:04 – How to get your question answered on this podcast
Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way, without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host, Darren Kirby.
Darren: This is Episode 31 of the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast and today is Q&A Friday. I’ve been sent in a question by James Thompson and James asks, “What should I eat after a workout?” Which is a great question and has a lot of different answers, really. What I want to do first is I’m going to step it back to pre-training so hopefully we can kind of build up a bit of a picture.
Now, it depends on when you’re training but I would always advocate training in a fasted state. What I mean by that is that you haven’t eaten for at least 12 hours prior to you training. Some of you listening to this might be thinking, “That’s crazy. How am I ever going to have any energy?” Well, you will have quite a lot of energy because our muscles store a lot of glycogen–up to 2000 calories worth of energy in our muscles–and then depending on what kind of workout you’re doing, your body will also use fat as fuel. What I normally do if I’m training in the morning is I will train in a fasted state, so I can train anywhere between an hour to two to three hours in a fasted state. I would just have a black coffee because caffeine is a stimulant and that will give you a boost during your workout and should prevent you fading.
But then after you’ve finished your workout, what should you eat? Again, it largely depends on what type of workout you’ve done. For example, if you’ve done like a steady state cardio session which could have been a real gentle run, or maybe a walk, or maybe you’ve been on the bike, then I would suggest that you always would need a little bit of protein in there, but you perhaps wouldn’t need a large amount of carbohydrates. So for me in that scenario, the go-to breakfast would be something like avocado, eggs, and then if you can, add a little bit of smoked salmon in there. Because what that will do is the avocado will give you your low level starchy carbs, it will give you a high amount of omega-3 fats, and it will also give you protein. I absolutely love avocado as a food source in general, but particularly after a workout. Then your eggs will give you your protein and your omega-3’s and then smoked salmon will give you protein and your fat for omega-3 fats.
Aside from that, if you have either trained in your lunch hour or you don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, I would go for a standard protein shake. But one of the things I really want to emphasize in this is that, really, really be careful with the types of protein powders you’re buying. I would always advocate you get your proteins from food, but like I’ve just said, if you are busy and you don’t have time to make yourself a gourmet breakfast before you run out the door or before you have to go back to the office, then have a protein shake. But be conscious about what’s in the protein shakes: so many manufacturers, particularly the manufacturers who sell a lot of stuff in bulk, just have fillers.
What I mean by fillers is there’ll be sucralose in there and there could be other artificial sweeteners in there. All that will do once you consume it is, yes, you’ll have the protein, but then it’s going to massively spike your blood sugar and we don’t want that for a number of different reasons. We want to keep our blood sugar nice and stable because of inflammation, because of fat burning and things like that. So there’s a few protein manufacturers that I recommend. One is KIN Nutrition: they do some great protein, really, really tasty. The other one is Form Nutrition, and Damian Soong from Form is coming on the podcast in a couple of weeks’ time. And the other one is Pulsin. All of those proteins, they don’t add any fillers in there.
Now, stepping back to the workout, if you’ve done a high intensity interval workout and not a steady state cardio workout, when you have your protein after your workout, it would be good if you could make yourself a breakfast. What I would do in that scenario is I would add a slice of either organic wholemeal bread with real butter–yes, real butter, because that’s got good fats in it that we need. It’s got saturated fats and we do need that in our diet. So that will give you some fats, that will give you a little bit of carbohydrates.
But equally again, if you are strapped for time, then I would add a small cup of rolled oats into your protein shakes but you’ll need to blend this up, so make sure you blend it up in a NutriBullet or something like that. That is going to give you your carbohydrates, so that’s going to restore your glycogen levels in your muscles, which is important. You’ve done a high intensity interval workout so you would have been using a lot of carbs as fuel during that workout and you’ll be depleted so you need to restore that. And then you obviously need your protein in there to rebuild the muscle and recover the muscle and enable the muscle to grow.
I hope that answered your question, James. Thanks very much for sending it in. For anybody else who wants to ask me some questions and get some answers, I’m going to be doing some more Q&A Fridays so you can send me a direct message on Instagram @fitterhealthierdad. Got to our Facebook page @fitterhealtheirdad, leave me a question on there or in the Facebook community. You can also go on to iTunes, leave a comment and a review on iTunes and I will take it out of there. Or you can email me directly–Darren@fitterhealthierdad.com–and then I’ll put it on the list to answer in other Fridays. I hope that helps, guys. Have a great weekend and I will speak to you soon.
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