Is a post-WO snack really necessary?


vee

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I do a 60 min bootcamp workout (calisthenics/kettlebells/sprinting) in the evening after work 3x a week and by the time I get home and make dinner, I'm eating about 90 min after finishing my workout.

 

I do have a pre-workout snack though to hold me over, like tuna + half an avocado or a piece of fruit and nuts, mostly so I'm not hungry and distracted during my workout.

 

Am I missing out on proper post workout fueling by not eating within 30 minutes of the workout?  I'm generally not that hungry right after.

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Your muscles are especially open to eating in the 30 minutes just after a hard workout. If you eat lean protein inside that window, your muscles will repair themselves and grow faster than if you wait 90 minutes to eat. Years ago when I was CrossFitting, I did not think it was necessary, but started eating immediately after workouts. My muscles were less sore the next day when I ate a can of tuna after workouts. 

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yes, eat the post workout meal every time.  you'll digest and process it pretty fast and you'll be surprised how soon you'll be ready to eat dinner. 

 

look at it this way, what's the point of beating the hell out of your body for an hour if you are not going to bother fueling it and giving it what it needs to properly recover and grow.  you might as well stop changing the oil in your car and giving it gas while you're at it.  :)

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Vee, I'm feeling the same way! I like to have something small about an hour before I work out because I HATE being hungry during my workout.  I usually get back from working out about an hour and a half before dinner so I don't want to have a snack then. I'd rather wait for my big delicious meal! 

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Tom, du you have a scientific reference for that? I am asking because I am a scientist in medicine (=fact nerd) and we recently had a well known professor in exercise physiology telling us that was a myth. He claimed that the muscles were "extra receptive" to refuelling the glycogen by uptake not only during a limited window, but in fact all the time until the glycogen stores were refilled. What are your thoughts on that?

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Tom, du you have a scientific reference for that? I am asking because I am a scientist in medicine (=fact nerd) and we recently had a well known professor in exercise physiology telling us that was a myth. He claimed that the muscles were "extra receptive" to refuelling the glycogen by uptake not only during a limited window, but in fact all the time until the glycogen stores were refilled. What are your thoughts on that?

Sorry. I am not a scientist and am not conversant with the literature. I heard Dallas and Melissa Hartwig talking about the importance of post-workout meals in 2010. I concluded the idea was silly and kept eating my lunch about one hour after my workout. Then after I got to know Dallas and Melissa better, I decided to try eating post-workout meals. To my surprise, I noticed an improvement in how quickly I recovered from hard workouts and a reduction of soreness. So I started repeating what I had heard, that the muscles were especially open for 30 minutes after a hard workout. 

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Tom, du you have a scientific reference for that? I am asking because I am a scientist in medicine (=fact nerd) and we recently had a well known professor in exercise physiology telling us that was a myth. He claimed that the muscles were "extra receptive" to refuelling the glycogen by uptake not only during a limited window, but in fact all the time until the glycogen stores were refilled. What are your thoughts on that?

I thought the main point of getting it in ASAP was to hasten muscle repair.

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Thanks for your reply Tom, I'll do a search on pubmed or email the professor when I find the time.

Vkanders- it makes sense to start muscle repair asap. But that wouldn't be dependent on glycogen, more on amino acid availability, right? And it would really make no sense from a biological perspective to have only a small window for muscle repair.

Anyway, I am sure most people feel better if they eat fairly soon after exercise.

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This is good to know.  OK so I'm not going to bust open a can of tuna at the gym.  What else would be an excellent 30 mins after working out option?  Beef jerky?  Almonds?  Hard boiled eggs?  Scotch eggs?  I tend to have issues with muscle recovery when I'm working my lower body out hard..... running, often times the end of a Spin class gets REALLY ugly.

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Thanks for your reply Tom, I'll do a search on pubmed or email the professor when I find the time.

Vkanders- it makes sense to start muscle repair asap. But that wouldn't be dependent on glycogen, more on amino acid availability, right? And it would really make no sense from a biological perspective to have only a small window for muscle repair.

Anyway, I am sure most people feel better if they eat fairly soon after exercise.

The glycogen is necessary for the energy to support the metabolic processes that happen during muscle repair. Protein alone is not enough.

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Speaking of after-workout nutrition, and I'm wondering how the Whole30 community feels about coconut water for hydration after a long run or intense workout (not as a substitute for a PWO meal) I bought some young coconuts today at the store and now have lots of coconut water in the fridge! I read that it is full of potassium and electrolytes. Thoughts?

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Speaking of after-workout nutrition, and I'm wondering how the Whole30 community feels about coconut water for hydration after a long run or intense workout (not as a substitute for a PWO meal) I bought some young coconuts today at the store and now have lots of coconut water in the fridge! I read that it is full of potassium and electrolytes. Thoughts?

Coconut water is great for hydration after (or during) exercise or even on a very hot day. It shouldn't be use as an ordinary beverage outside of those circumstances--it's pretty sweet--and of course do check the label. Coconut water or coconut water+fruit juice is ok. Coconut water + any kind of sugar is not. I used it a bit over the summer when I was tumbling in an un-airconditioned gym. Mixing it 1/2 and 1/2 with water worked pretty well for me, I would add a pinch of sea salt as well.

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I just have the water that came straight out of the coconuts, no fruit juice or sugar added. Is coconut water by itself high in sugar? 

yes. The coconut water is kind of like fruit juice, in that it is high in natural sugars. It's ok on the whole30, but should be used in moderation for that reason.

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