Post-exercise Nutrition Importance Overstated?

I have mentioned in previous posts that chocolate milk is an excellent post-exercise meal due to it’s 4:1 carb to protein ratio. Natalie, our registered dietitian, and I have been discussing the true need of the post-exercise meal for our clients with fat loss or general fitness goals. Since most of our clients are focused on fat loss or at least maintaining a goal weight, we certainly don’t want to recommend any unnecessary calories.

If you are Olympic swimmer Micheal Phelps or the U. of Michigan football team performing multiple training sessions each day, it is very important to properly refuel for performance reasons. What about the 44 year old lady that walk/jogs the neighborhood for 30 minutes? Is she really in need of immediate refueling? Is her “performance” going to suffer in two days when she trains with weights?

Not according to this article in the New York Times.

“The American College of Sports Medicine, in a position paper written by leading experts, reported that athletes who take a day or two to rest or do less-intense workouts between vigorous sessions can pretty much ignore the carbohydrate-timing advice.

The group wrote that for these athletes, “when sufficient carbohydrate is provided over a 24-hour period, the timing of intake does not appear to affect the amount of glycogen stored.”

Several of the researchers quoted in the article are endurance athletes and based on their findings, do not practice any specific post-exercise nutrition strategy.

Take home message: If your are not participating in competitive sports that require more than one training session a day, just plan to eat one of your normal meals within a few hours of your workout. Simple enough.

Rick Mayo


We offer several options of personal training to meet every goal and fitness level

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