There is a “window of time” that exists right after your workout during which your body is at its peak efficiency in metabolizing what you consume.
In other words, after a workout, your body is eagerly waiting to be nourished as it is severely depleted of glucose and glycogen stores (energy). It is starving to be replenished and will quickly absorb anything good, or bad, that you feed it. And so it is extremely important to take advantage of this "window of opportunity" and feed your body something really nourishing so it can reap the benefits immediately.
The best thing to consume within an hour after a workout (within 30 minutes is ideal) is something highly nutritious—in liquid form. Because liquid meals digest faster than solid meals, the body can quickly absorb the nutrients and immediately use it to build and repair.
Here’s the recipe for one serving of my Deliciously Healthy Blueberry Mango Protein Shake:
• 1 cup (250mL) water
• Few splashes almond milk (plain or vanilla flavor)
• 5 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 4 oz mangoes (fresh or frozen)
• 1 tbsp hemp green protein powder
• Half scoop vanilla flavor whey protein powder
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
If you prefer, you can omit the hemp green protein powder and just use one full scoop (25-35g) of whey protein powder instead.
The reason I use hemp protein powder and very little whey protein is because hemp protein is plant-based and has natural plant chlorophyll, which is alkalizing and can help maintain the ph balance in your body, unlike whey protein which is animal-based and can be acidic especially when consumed in large amounts on a regular basis (and even more so if you’re not including lots of alkalizing foods in your diet).
Hemp protein is also loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This may be a better option because there are no fillers and additives and it provides the 8 essential amino acids and fatty acids. You’ll need much less hemp protein than whey protein for equal benefit (more about hemp protein powder).
The amount of protein you need depends primarily on the size of your body, whether you’re still in your youth and growing, and how much you exercise (more about Whey Protein Powder).
Do your research and find out the amount that makes sense for you because taking in too much protein can be taxing on the kidneys. It is the kidneys that have to go into overdrive to process and excrete the nitrogen in protein. Whatever the case, be sure to drink lots of water.
Drinking lots of water keeps the body hydrated and promotes the body's recuperative ability so it can recover quicker. Water aids in the transport of important nutrients to where they’re needed, making the recuperative process easier, faster and more efficient.
A regular protein drink like the one I suggested would do just find for most people, but if you're a body builder or athlete, or just someone who performs highly strenuous activities or exercises, it would help to not only add an appropriate amount of whey protein powder (or hemp protein powder), but to also add a little Dextrose (more about Dextrose), along with 5 grams of L-Glutamine (more about L-Glutamine), and 5 grams of Creatine (more about Creatine) to help your body recover.
And of course, a little later when you eat your solid meal, be sure it is a well-balanced meal of good, clean carbs (brown rice, wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, grains, legumes, etc.), protein from fish or extra lean meats (chicken or turkey breasts, bison, etc.), and lots of colorful vegetables (especially your greens such as spinach, broccoli, etc.).