In my opinion, it depends… it depends on your goals and it also depends highly on how good your nutrition throughout the rest of the day is.
Post workout nutrition (PWO) is a much debated topic, some people will swear by the importance of PWO nutrition within 30-40min of finishing a workout, while others will claim it’s not as important as made out to be. In this article I will cover both topics and explain the reasoning behind them.
A number of studies have found that a post-workout drink containing simple, high-GI carbs and protein increases protein synthesis dramatically. The two work synergistically to create an anabolic environment that’s superior to either nutrient alone. In addition, some recent work suggests that a pre-workout drink may be superior to a post-workout drink, and consuming both may be best of all!
For your second post-workout meal, you should eat whole foods; this should be eaten within 45 minutes to an hour after you consume your shake. For the best nutrition for muscle gain you want to eat a meal made of high glycemic carbohydrates and protein to maximize your recovery potential.
The bottom line of this whole study revealed post workout nutrition, comprised of both carbohydrates, and protein, helped decrease the fatigue level, and increased fat oxidation in subjects.
Easily digestible proteins such as whey, makes it easier on the digestive system, and the body can then spend most of its attention on getting the protein source to the muscles instead of spending too much of its attention on the digestion process. When consuming foods after a workout, think “liquefied”.
Each meal after a workout needs to consist of both protein and carbohydrates. Your fitness goals are, will determine the proportion of each of these components. For example, if you want to lose weight, you will need to have more protein than carbohydrates, to make sure that you are building muscle and losing fat.
Eating the low calorie meals after working out didn’t improve the insulin sensitivity any more than when subjects ate enough calories to match what they burned during the exercise.
This suggests that you can get the important health benefits from exercise, and best of all, you don’t have to starve yourself after a workout.
Sugar in fruit and amino acids in protein will directly go to your muscle after workout so you do not have to worry about storing fat. But keep in mind that for the rest of the day, you should eat the opposite way, i.e eat complex slow released carbohydrate and protein. That will keep you blood sugar stable and avoid fat storage.