After a workout the body is in a state of depletion, it is important to replenish the body and replace what it has lost as well as giving your muscles the tools to repair and build. Immediately after training this is the protocol.
Protein is the main thing here and quick. The protein found in protein shakes is easily digested and transported to the muscles quickly the aim is to do this while the capillary network is wide open from fuelling the body through its workout. So this is ideal. But don’t wait until you get home, your capillary network will begin to close down making transport less effective. Get on the case straight away I would recommend no longer than a 20 minutes after workout completion. - Remember not all protein supplements are the same quality (check supplements section) so choose wisely.
Carbohydrates are very necessary at this point to replace glycogen and glucose as these are used as energy throughout your workout. When the muscles tire and can no longer sustain the workload. The hormone cortisol (stress hormone) is released this is responsible for your body becoming catabolic. So to counteract that process you must replenish the lost glycogen, quickly. So this is the perfect time for fast acting carbs. The supplement maltodextrin is ideal here as it is a complex carb that acts very quickly, but as it is a complex carb you do not get the “come down” effect discussed in the carb section. Fruit is not a bad option here either and can be blended nicely into a shake.
It is recommended to consume 0.4g of protein and 0.8g of carbs per kilogram of body weight on average over the next 4-6 hours after a training session.
Note - If the person completing the program is less athletically developed and has a high body fat percentage, these numbers will be unrealistic and will send you way over your macro allowance. If this is the case I recommend using the same formula for a REALISTIC body weight and composition you would like to achieve.
So for example, if i am a male/female athlete weighing 65kg on this training program, and I finish my training session at 8:30am before work. I would aim to consume the minimum of,
Protein - 104 grams (65 x 0.4) x 4
Carbs - 208 grams (65 x 0.8) x 4
Over the next 4-6 hours
I would also recommend from these numbers, a minimum of 40grams of protein and 70grams of fast acting carbs immediately after training in supplement form.
Good nutrition surrounding training is paramount, if you are putting in all that effort you need to be making sure you get the absolute most from every session.