Article – Optimize Your Health with Solid Post-Workout Nutrition
Optimal health is achieved through the following tried and true formula. First, we must get adequate sleep. Seven to nine hours continues to be the most recognized gold standard. Second, we need to laugh often and smile lots. Both increase production of stress reducing hormones and improve the levels of enjoyment we experience in our lives. Third, it is important that we stay hydrated. Start each day with a glass of water and continue to drink throughout each and every day. Fourth, we must exercise consistently and at varying intensities. Our bodies respond to challenges by getting stronger and more resilient to them. A healthy blend of both cardiovascular and resistance exercise every week is paramount for our wellbeing. And, fifth, we achieve optimal health through the daily practice of healthy eating. Today’s article will expand on this fifth part of the optimal health formula. I want to specifically explore how you can approach eating after exercise to enhance your ability to defend against disease and inflammation.
Is this you? You just completed a great workout. You worked your muscles, your heart, and you have the sweat to prove it. You’re feeling great! But, one thing you are not is hungry. So, you head off to do whatever you planned to do without eating after your workout. You’ll eat when you’re hungry. If this is you, please listen to what I’m going to say. When we exercise, we stress out our bodies. Depending on how challenging your workout was, the amount of stress you produce will be larger or smaller. But still, you are definitely stressing out your body. This means that your body is more vulnerable to disease and inflammation if you don’t replenish the energy that you expended during your workout. Understand that our bodies have a constant need for protein and the myriad number of nutrients found in carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, and other complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, grains, and legumes. We need a healthy supply of fats as well. Add the stress of exercise and our demand for these foods is multiplied.
So let’s talk about some strategies for ensuring that you’re getting an inflammatory and disease reducing dose of eating after your next exercise session. In order to keep it simple, try the following. After your workouts, especially workouts in which you trained your muscles to some point of fatigue, protein replenishment is paramount. Understand that 20% of the body is comprised of protein! And protein is made up of tiny building blocks responsible for almost all biological processes in our bodies called amino acids. So, our post-workout nutrition should provide us with at least 20 grams of protein to give us an adequate amount of amino acids to support repairing our exercise damaged muscle tissue. After a workout, we also have a greater need for carbohydrates because we’ve used them as a primary energy source during our exercise session, especially if the exercise is more intense or greater than sixty minutes in duration. A general guideline for post-workout carbohydrate intake is to figure about ¼ – ½ gram per pound of your ideal bodyweight. You can figure out your ideal bodyweight using this simple formula.
If you’re a female the formula is a start number of 100 lbs. for being 5 feet tall. Then for every inch over 5 feet add 5 pounds to the initial 100 lbs. Next take a measure of your dominant wrist by wrapping the index finger and thumb of your other hand around it to determine your bone structure. If they just touch, your number is what you determined from the formula and you are medium framed. If your fingers do not touch, add 10% to the initially determined answer because you are large framed. If your fingers overlap, subtract 10% from the initially determined answer because you are small framed. So, for example let’s say you’re 5’6” and after measuring your wrist girth you determine that you are small framed. Your math would look like this: 100 + (6 x 5) – 10% = 117. So your ideal weight would be 117 pounds. So your optimum post workout carbohydrate intake would be ¼ – ½ of 117 or 29 – 59 grams or carbohydrate.
For guys your math is a little different. You will start with a base number of 105 for being 5 feet tall and for every inch over 5 feet you will add an additional 6 pounds versus the 5 pounds for a female. Wrist measures are the same with the same inclusions. So if you are a male and you are 5’9” with a medium frame your math would look like this: 105 + (6 x 9) + 0 = 159. So your ideal weight would be 159 pounds. So your optimum post workout carbohydrate intake would be ¼ – ½ of 159 or 40 – 80 grams of carbohydrate.
Some simple strategies for achieving optimal post-workout nutrition are to eat within 60 minutes of your workout. Now if you can eat sooner do so because it’s after a workout that our bodies are actively seeking protein and carbohydrates to heal damaged muscle tissue and make it stronger. You can achieve this in a couple of ways. One very easy example is chocolate milk. That’s right. About 20 ounces of chocolate milk provides 20 grams of protein and about 60 grams of carbohydrate. And liquid beverages get into our blood stream sooner than whole foods do that have to endure a more involved breaking down process. If your lactose intolerant or don’t like milk, you can always skip it and replace it with some other similar beverage. My favorite is unsweetened almond milk mixed with a whey based protein powder. You could try one of countless vegetable based or egg based protein powders if lactose is an issue.
Another option is to simply each a meal. I will often do this if I am working out in the morning. I will simply have my breakfast after my workout. You might consider doing the same. So long as you are getting both protein and carbohydrates within 60 minutes of your workout in the amounts I shared, you should be good.
However you decide to get your post-workout nutrition, just be consistent in doing so. You will recognize improvements in your strength and energy levels, you will get sick less often, you will notice less inflammatory stress, and you will even notice your body composition will change. Optimum post-workout nutrition is a key ingredient to living a healthy life. Start practicing your own version of it today!
Dee started coming to BodyBasics in September of 2008 after both her chiropractor, Dr. Ron Andelora and her good friend Nelda Chimienti, also a client of BodyBasics, suggested she meet with Chris to develop a program for improving both her bone density and her upper body strength. As a practicing massage therapist of 13 years by that time, Dee knew how important weight training was and she pursued it with the best of intentions with three other trainers prior to meeting up with Chris. But she just wasn’t getting the long term results she was looking for. Well, September 3, 2008 marked the start of a new training relationship with Chris and Dee intends to be with him for life. Why? Results number one! Dee no longer has osteopenia. Her bone density improved to within normal levels as has stabilized. In her words, “I am stronger than I was, and I KNOW it!” And believe me, a look at her shoulders and back musculature is proof positive that she is aging beautifully. Oh, we didn’t mention that part. Dee is 73 years old and proud to be so. She regularly goes out for hikes with friends, trains at least 1 other time each week with weights outside of her session with Chris, and routinely enjoys active time with her 4 grandkids. The woman is a shining example of how much life we can live when we choose to take good care of ourselves mind, body, and spirit.
Dee, thank you for your commitment to your health and to our developed plan for optimizing your health for years to come. I will continue to be the “meticulous manager of minutia” that you have grown to respect. Remember to always root, zip, and draw!
Blessings from your trainer, Chris Litten, and the rest of the BodyBasics’ Team.
Welcome New and Returning Clients
Marie Conti – referred by Kim Blanchard at Ideal Physical Therapy
Aaron Tvrdy – referred by Pusch Ridge Christian Academy Athletic Director, Lonnie Tvrdy
BodyBasics is excited to offer online registration for group classes! It’s simple to register and then pick the classes you want to join.
Simply start by clicking the picture. Once on the BodyBasics Mindbody home page click the My Info tab and register.
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. What you don’t know is that we start every Wednesday staff meeting with our shout outs. After doing this for several months and realizing how many incredible experiences are being shared, We thought it would be excellent to position a place within our newsletter to share also with all of you. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Aline Goodman – For always being up for a challenge and for rocking our studio with her very impressive medicine ball throws against the rebounder!
Marjorie Wack – For achieving her benchmark goal of getting up off of the floor without any assistance!
Nelda Chimienti – For, in her trainer’s words, killing it recently in her workouts!
Marge Furash – For rocking the hula hoop station better than anyone else could last month!
Mike Liebert – For taking ownership and personal pride in his away from BodyBasics’ workouts!
Recipe – Grilled Adobo Rubbed Fish Tacos
Nothing says summer like grilling, so I thought let’s try something grilled and healthy! These fish tacos are full of flavor and perfect for a summer evening. Add fresh avocado and your favorite salsa to them!
- 4 teaspoons chili powder, preferably made with New Mexico or ancho chiles (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds mahi-mahi or Pacific halibut, or any white fish 1/2-3/4 inch thick, skinned and cut into 4 portions
Coleslaw — Prepare coleslaw up to 4 hours ahead.
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 cups finely shredded red or green cabbage
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- To prepare fish: Combine chili powder, lime juice, oil, cumin, onion powder, garlic power, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub adobo rub all over fish. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes for the fish to absorb the flavor.
- To prepare coleslaw: Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix until smooth and creamy. Add cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack, or use a grilling basket. Grill the fish until it is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a platter and separate into large chunks.
- Serve the tacos family-style by passing the fish, tortillas, coleslaw and taco garnishes separately.
Nutrition: Serving Size 2 tacos
Per Serving: 318 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 110 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 5 g fiber; 714 mg sodium; 829 mg potassium.
Video – Standing Adductor Slides
Chris, Amber, Maureen, Mike, Myrya, Mary