I’m a creature of habit. I’m sure that my wife would back me up on this. I wake up at 4:30 am every morning. I pack my gym bag and get my clothes for work together the night before. I pack my lunch and post-workout food while eating a beagle with peanut butter…then I hop in the car and head off to the gym around 4:45am.
What I pack for lunch changes, but my post-workout food is the same 95% of the time. It consists of a Clif bar (homemade from a recipe I found online) and a banana. I wash it down with around 18-20 ounces of water and take a multi-vitamin…all while driving to work.
So is what I eat post-workout enough to replenish the energy I burn?
There’s lots of studies and theories out there, but the consensus seems to be that you need to eat around 220-440 calories with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen (stored glucose) stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. The sooner after your workout you can eat, the more you can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness.
My post-workout meal looks like this:
(1) “Clif” bar = 330 calories, 44g of carbs, 9g of protein, 14g fat
(1) Medium banana = 105 calories, 27g carbs, 1g protein, 0g fat
TOTAL = 435 calories, 71g carbs, 10g protein, 14g fat (5:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein)
So it looks like my post-workout meal is sufficient (a few more grams of protein wouldn’t hurt). Most days, as soon as I get to work, I eat a bowl of oatmeal with almonds. Although this meal doesn’t fit into the crucial 30 minute post-workout window, adding in some additional calories within the first 90 minutes is a good idea as well.
2 solid hours in Zone 2…building endurance
I did a 10 minute warm-up, then increased my heart rate to zone 2 (125-137 bpm) and held it there for an hour and forty minutes, then did a 10 minute cool-down
Here’s my heart rate chart from the ride:
Man, I love my new Garmin watch and all the info it gives me!