Male vs. Female: Post Workout Nutrition By Jimmy Smith
This doesn't really get discussed much and everyone pretty much assumes it is the same, it isn't and there's one big difference that most people don't account for. The psychology difference between men and women is the single biggest determing factor in their post workout nutrition. Here's an example of how you would describe the importance of post workout nutrition to a man versus to a woman.
Man: "Go home, make sure you get your protein shake in the car or right when you walk in the door. You better take some carbs with it as well, maybe a sweet potato or oatmeal. Oh, it would be a good idea to add some creatine in too."
Woman: "Is today going to be the day that you'll try a protein shake? No? Ok, how about eating some chicken, maybe in a salad and a few pieces of fruit? You don't feel like eating right after your workout? Ok, then wait 30 minutes to eat."
That is a huge difference right there. One is assertive and indicates that unless you have your protein and carbs or protein and healthy fat post workout that you'll run the risk of eating muscle tissue and not recovering. The second is like pulling teeth and hoping that there will be compliance.
That's not to say that women are difficult, it's just that they can't mentally picture themselves eating food right after they workout and most women don't even want the 100 calories or so that come in a protein shake.
It's just a case of not being able to knock a wall down with a hammer. You have to go around the wall. Explaining the benefits of proper post workout nutrition might work for 1 out of every 5 women so don't give up but don't think you are going to educate everyone.
The best way around it is to work hard at making sure the other meals are point on. Post workout nutrition is important but it isn't any more important than any other meal a day. It's the classic thing that you see with 15-18 year old guys. They work out, have a shake and some carbs then don't eat for another two hours until they have pizza and wonder why they don't grow.
I'll take someone not eating the proper macronutrients post workout if they will be as perfect as they can personally be for the rest of the day. It's a lesson that needs to be learned by everyone who steps foot into a gym. Don't beat yourself up if you don't eat right after you train, life gets in the way but don't be afraid to test the waters either.
Ok enough psychology. What are the best formulas and methods for maximizing post workout nutrition? It really stays the same for both men and women. I generally recommend:
Now it gets interesting when we look at fat loss versus muscle building.
For adding muscle, I recommend a carb source such as oatmeal or yams that are slow absorbing and therefore donít spike your blood sugar levels. We do not some sort of insulin spike post workout but not too much as it can lead to a double release of insulin.
For dropping body fat, I recommend 10-20 grams of glycine and 10-20 grams of glutamine. These amino acids are known for having a distressing effect on the body so that we can repair optimal and they will be likely turned to glucose to provide energy in the absences of carbs. This is another way to replenish used muscle glucose and recover without carbs.
Jimmy Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness , and Best Body magazines.
His "The Muscle Bible" workouts have been featured multiple times in Menís Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet on t-nation.com and bodybuilding.com and his workouts have help thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, and gain muscle. For information on the The Muscle Bible visit www.ineedmuscle.com