It’s important to get enough carbs and protein into your body after your weight training session. Most people know to consume protein after training but it’s also vital to eat enough carbs to precipitate a decent insulin release.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for shuttling carbohydrates and amino acids to the muscles so the process of repair can begin and muscle breakdown is prevented (see my post on how weight training can make your muscles smaller).
According to the research, 0.8g of carbohydrate per 1kg of body weight may be optimum to promote muscle growth without leading to excess fat gains. Post workout protein intake should be around 0.4g per 1kg of body weight.
The tables below show ball park figures for common body weights and also the food quantities to supply the required amounts of carbohydrate and protein.
Requirement Post Workout (Within 60 minutes of weight training)
Carb 0.8g per kg bodyweight
Protein 0.4g per kg bodyweight
Requirement Ball Park Figures
|WHITE POTATO||WHITE RICE (UNCOOKED VALUES)|
|380G = 65G CARBS||80G = 65G CARBS|
|320G = 55G CARBS||70G = 55G CARBS|
|290G = 50G CARBS||60G = 48G CARBS|
|230G = 40G CARBS||50G = 40G CARBS|
100g chicken breast = 25g
1 can tuna in water = 31g
1 protein shake = 25-30g
So you can see from the tables above that an ideal post workout meal for an 80kg person would be 380g baked potato (that’s a large spud!) with about 125g chicken breast. Add a side salad for good health (and a few strawberries if you’re strange like me and love the zing of berries with your main meals) and Bob’s your auntie’s husband!
Caveat: If you are significantly overweight (as a rough guide, let’s say not within a stone of your target weight) then it might be better to focus on maintaining a calorie deficit as a primary concern and only consider post workout carbs if you can fit it into your calorie target.