I have been avoiding post workout shakes for quite a few years now. In fact, I typically wait 1-2 hours after working out before I eat any type of calories. This flies in the face of the standard “science based” idea of post workout nutrition. Why do I wait so long, when others are rushing to the locker room to chug down protein shakes? It is actually pretty simple.
[A brilliant picture of two surfers in Puerto Vallarta continuing to catch waves as the sun goes down. Surfers go hours and hours without food after periods of tough effort, breaking the "fitness rules" while maintaining outstanding physiques.]
Here is the Traditional Advice to Post Workout Nutrition
Ingest whey protein and 60-70 grams of simple carbs within 30-45 minutes of finishing your workout. What happens is that your muscles are “hungry” to replenish the glycogen stores and basically “soak up” the sugars and protein. It enhances recovery time and helps build lean mass.
So Why Am I Suggesting for You to Wait a Bit?
Drinking a post workout shake leads to an insulin spike. Any time you spike your insulin, you are shutting down HGH output. So a lot of the benefit derived from your intense workout is cut short. The negatives caused by the insulin spike outweigh the positives. You are adding a lot of unnecessary calories and shutting down a bit of fat burning activity.
Insulin is Antagonistic to HGH
When you are trying to lose body fat, you want to avoid insulin spikes. When your insulin level is high, you will stop your body’s ability to burn body fat. Although I’m not a fan of the Atkins diet, it works because it ensures that insulin levels are kept low at all times. Again, maintaining low levels of insulin is a big key to getting ultra-lean. I like keeping insulin levels low by eating protein, healthy fats, and vegetables together.
What to do Instead?
I recommend waiting an hour after working out before eating. If you are really serious about weight loss, then eat a balanced meal with protein, fat and a lot of vegetables. I used to allow myself to eat “loose” after working out, but this small adjustment to a clean meal has made fat loss easier than ever. Another benefit that whole food has over shakes is the added thermogenic effect of food.
Note: I realize this post is shorter than normal, but the resulting fat loss you get by following this advice is big.