What Not to Eat … After Your Workout!!

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!  A brand new article posted by Dr. Joseph Mercola is entitled “Two Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat After Exercise.”  He asks, “Did you know that what you eat directly after exercising … can have a significant impact on the health benefits you reap from your exercise?”  The question’s a great one.  It’s his answer that misses the mark.  If you’re looking to get the most out of your workouts, that is!

He claims that consuming sugar within two hours after exercise is a major no-no, citing a recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology and some web sites as the basis for the claim, and he advises against eating fruit or fruit juice after exercise.  So, basically, his position is that you’re nuts to eat any high-glycemic carbohydrates immediately after exercise if you want good results.

That advice is just plain wrong.  Virtually every sports nutrition expert (and all the top experts who contributed to Alpha Male Challenge) says just the opposite, and they base their position on an enormous body of science.  A protein drink (such as whey protein powder) with a high-glycemic carbohydrate (such as dextrose) consumed within 15 to 30 minutes post-workout is critical to rebuild muscles and prevent a flood of stress hormones that break down the body.  At that critical time, the dextrose stimulates an insulin spike that helps shuttle protein and other supplements (e.g., creatine and BCAAs) to the muscle.  The carbohydrates replenish energy stores while the protein is left for muscle building.  It’s not carbs you need to avoid immediately post-workout, but FATS!  Fats will slow the movement of nutrients into the body.

So, don’t sweat high-glycemic carbs after you hit the weights (Alpha Male Challenge further explains high-glycemic carbs)!  As Team True Alpha expert Abbie Smith, MS, CSCS, CISSN, CPS, says, “If you like sweet stuff, the best time to eat it is immediately post-workout – when your body will be less likely to store it as fat.”