Post Workout Nutrition (PWO + PPWO)

Warboss Alex

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#1
Note: the following applies to only weights workouts, there are so many factors in cardio workouts (HIIT or steady state, goals, time of day, blah blah blah) that it's impossible to have one cookie-cuttered answer to post-cardio nutrition.

After resistance training (weights), your body is in a glycogen-depleted and catabolic state. It hungers for nutrients, and bodybuilders can take advantage of the two times when the body is most receptive of food after the workout, these windows of opportunity called post-workout (pwo) and post-post-workout (ppwo, also confusingly called pwo in some circles).

PWO

Post-workout is up to 15-20 minutes after your workout, and this is where the body wants protein to repair your broken-down muscles and some simple carbs (sugars) to kickstart the repairing with a timely insulin spike. Hence, the pwo drink is usually some form of liquid protein + sugar.

Studies show that the most optimal pwo combination is whey protein + dextrose/glucose (2:1 dextrose to whey specifically but this is individual, some people prefer 1:1 - I'm not anal about this myself, I tend to put in more carbs than protein but I don't make sure it's twice as much).

Just because whey+dextrose is the optimal combination, it doesn't mean that other combinations don't work - far from it, your body will make use any protein and carbs you give it pwo, but fast-digesting proteins are best (whey and egg protein) along with simple sugars so your body doesn't have to bother doing much digestion, and get on with making your muscles bigger.

Other pwo formulas can be protein + fruit juice, protein + fruit, protein + lucozade/soda, your body isn't picky carbs-wise, as long as there's some sugar there it'll thank you for it. You can also intake simple carbs like white pasta or white bread here, but the insulin spike will be lower, and if you can stomach solid food after squatting then you're a better man than me.

PPWO

The other time when the body is most receptive is 1hr - 1.5hrs after the post-workout drink/meal. This is the post-post-workout (ppwo) meal, where your body fancies protein and some slower carbs (mid-low GI, although it won't hurt to put in simple carbs too). Beef and potatoes, chicken and rice, tuna and pasta .. any such combination is fine.

It has been suggested that a liquid ppwo meal gives the body less work to do digestion-wise and so is better, but I believe that the benefits of solid food outweight the faster absorption and therefore wouldn't choose liquid pwo AND ppwo meals (all this liquid malarkey makes me hungry anyway).

Fat and PWO/PPWO

Fat slows down digestion, so for obvious reasons shouldn't be included in the pwo drink. Nutrionalists say that you need a balanced ppwo meal and should include some fat, I've never consciously done this and it hasn't done me any harm, and I don't believe it'd make a huge difference anyway.

Slow Carbs and PWO

Now, if your ppwo meal is going to be a long time after pwo (say 2 hours plus, without wanting to place an absolute value on the time) then you can to an extent counter-act this by including complex carbs in your pwo meal (wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta, oats, etc). This means your body will have something to work with in the longer wait until ppwo.

Recap

Post-workout/PWO: up to 15-20 minutes after your weights workout, optimal combination whey + dextrose but any fast protein + simple sugars will do, NO FAT, include complex carbs if 2 hours or so away from ppwo.

Post-post-workout/PPWO: 1-1.5hrs after pwo, should be any form of protein + complex carbs (low to mid GI), plus some simple carbs if you like (not recommended if bodyfat a serious issue), a little fat shouldn't hurt either but not critical to include.
 

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Create Reality

Master Don Juan
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#2
Isn't it true that over years the dextrose post workout can lead to diabetes? I remember another post here in the forum about this.

And yes, almost everything causes cancer and diabetes these days plz do not escape the question.
 

semag

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#3
how many people bust a coke a day? how about a coke every 2 days??

it's the same thing.
 

slack

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#4
Nice post Alex.

Do you have any suggestions for pre-workout nutrition?

I remember reading one source that suggested fast-absorbing protein before working out and slower-absorbing after. I've also read a suggestion to drink a shake or something during the workout.

Also, what about energy for working out? I find that I get very sleepy after eating certain things. I'd like to get some ideas about when and what to eat before working out.
 

shagnscoob

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#5
Create Reality said:
Isn't it true that over years the dextrose post workout can lead to diabetes? I remember another post here in the forum about this.

And yes, almost everything causes cancer and diabetes these days plz do not escape the question.

I did a little searching and couldnt find anything... ?
 

No.

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#6
I suppose 'NO FATS' means drinking a protein shake (whey powder and 400ml of 2% milk) after a workout is no good? Or is a little bit of milk acceptable?
 

Mctwist4

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#8
I often feel sick after I do legs and I can't get anything down until about 20 minutes after I finish. Is this ok?
 

Skilla_Staz

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#9
"up to 15-20 minutes"

Seems okay to me. I wouldn't wait too long. At least have something to drink.
 

shagnscoob

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#10
What are the general thoughts on the usefulness of creatine? I dont really like the idea of having water muscles, but if it's going to help me lift heavier...
 

blinkwatt

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#12
Skilla_Staz said:
Water muscles? It doesn't fill your muscles with water my friend. It just helps pull more in, superhydrating your muscles...

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/animalpak22.htm
Interesting....part of that is a lie.

I have a friend who is a nutrionalist and says that if you take over 15grams of creatine a day without a proper water intake it CAN drain your organs of water. * Creatine pulls water from organs and puts them in muscles. Now 15 grams is at least 3 scoops of creatine which is ALOT! If you choose to take a high level like that it is important to drink alot of water. I'm just trying this creatine stuff out taking in 5-7 grams a day w/ 1/2 gallon of water and 1/2 fat free milk daily and I do not have any negative side effects.


* A few years ago some high school students did injure themselves by taking in 30 grams a day without a proper water intake. 30 grams=6 scoops=stupid.
 

Skilla_Staz

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#13
hah yes, I suppose if you triple the recommended dosage, and in that one case, 6x the recommended dosage, then you may see some adverse effects.

Overdosing on many things provide bad results. Creatine is no exception apparently.


*I heard of a local kid injuring himself as well. Although it wasn't due to creatine...

He was a 120lb kid, who got dared to squat 540 because the another kid was too lazy to strip the weight. Got stuck under the weight, eff'ed up his 12th vertebre.
 

[S]alvatore

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#14
slack said:
Nice post Alex.

Do you have any suggestions for pre-workout nutrition?

I remember reading one source that suggested fast-absorbing protein before working out and slower-absorbing after. I've also read a suggestion to drink a shake or something during the workout.

Also, what about energy for working out? I find that I get very sleepy after eating certain things. I'd like to get some ideas about when and what to eat before working out.
An hour before you train, eat some low GI carbs, here's a shake I used to have pre-workout before I started eating wholefoods:

Mass Shake

500ml Milk
1 Green Banana
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 scoops whey
2 tablespoons of oats

Can be prepared in a blender, but i use a jug and a bamix.

- Chop banana, blend
- Add oats, whey & milk. Blend
- Add peanut butter, blend

Protein: 53g
Carbs: 110g
Fat: 35g
Calories: Around 1000
 

simba_

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#15
I'm thinking bout starting to mix my Whey with some Gatorade powder (dextrose + simple carbs)... I wonder if this will be a good idea. I hope it doesn't taste like crap (strawberry + lemon).

Oh and apparently from a few studies I have read, taking more than 5g of creatine a day is going to do some damage (especially to the kidneys). I can look for them if anyone wants to read.
 

Skilla_Staz

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#16
If you get some non flavored powder, if you can find it, i'm sure it'll taste fine.
 

kickureface

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#18
recently ive been doing this in blender
2 scoops onwhey (optimum), 6-8 oz plain nonfat yogurt (freaking sour but flavored whey counteracts), either nonfat milk or water, just a lil bit around 200 ml, and then i toss in strawberries or bananas or both.
how good is that? it tastes good fsure tho
should i add in dextrose?

sure beats water + whey :\
 
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#19
Quick question for you Alex (and any of the other experienced lifters on here):

how essential to you consider it to be to get the protein in in the 15-20mins immediately after the session?

Reason I ask is that whenever a do a really tough session like today (finished with widowmakers), I feel physically sick at the end and don't even try to get any food down me for at least half an hour while I just lie down and recover!

Which means that I've been missing the 'optimal 15-20min window'. And while I have been making great progress recently in spite of this, I'm just wondering if its worthwhile cutting down the intensity of the session in order to be able to eat sooner after the session??
 

md3sign

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#20
It is essential to get those nutrients in your system, and in the form of a shake NOT food. Food takes too long to digest. The idea is to replenish your depleted glycogen stores via fast digesting carbs and get as much protein in your system as fast as possible to prevent the use of muscle as energy, as well as to begin new protein synthesis. I never eat after a workout. I do, however, immediately chug my shake and then eat about an hour later when I get hungry and calm down.
 
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