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Post-workout protein
What to eat

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#1 louise07

Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:43 AM


I am on a health kick and need advice/feedback from the wise EBers out there!

First and foremost I want to improve my fitness, but I also have around 10-15kgs that I would like to loose.

I have signed up to My Fitness Pal and I am tracking food intake.  I am committed to one personal training session per week for the next 15 weeks and in between that I am hoping to do cardio workouts 3x a week also (25 mins on treadmill and 10 on bike for now until fitness improves, after which I will change time/intensity).

I have two questions:

1) everything I read talks about post-workout protein helping with recovery and I am not sure what I should do/have given the level of intensity at which I workout (for me it is moderate to high, but for others it would be minimal- iykwim!)

2) MFP calculates calories burnt during workout, do I ignore this and just eat the amount of calories suggested by MFP before exercise or do I eat more?


#2 beaglebaby

Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:30 AM

I haven't yet given any protein supplements a go, so I can't recommend any of them, but on my trainers advice I do try to have protein as soon after a hard workout, especially weights, as possible. My usuals would be a milk based drink, a hard boiled egg, tinned tuna on rice or corn thins or a yoghurt with some nuts and seeds.

I don't calorie count as I find if I do I become food obsessed.  I stick to a lowish carb diet with some good lean protein and try to limit portion sizes and unhealthy snacks.  I know many people swear by MFP and by "eating back" some of the calories you burn exercising, but if you can manage without eating them back you will lose weight faster.  Remember to look at the quality of the food you are eating and not just the calories, lots of healthy colourful stuff and not much processed food:)

Good luck.

Edited by beaglebaby, 30 January 2013 - 02:31 AM.

#3 CupOfCoffee

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:06 AM

I only worry about protein when I do a really big weights workout. If I do cardio, I don't have protein afterwards.  I use a supplement (I am going to change mine to a natural one when my current one is finished, just a whey protein and add some natural vanilla flavour (I don't like the chemical taste of my current one).  I once made a protein bar at home and it was delicious, and easy to have immediately after a work out.

I eat back around half my exercise calories (it is my buffer for accidentally undercounting).

And good luck, I have a similar amount to lose and I am using MFP also.

#4 Guest_fefifofum_*

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:56 AM

Milk is a great source of protein - at around 3-3 1/2 % protein, if you make a banana smoothie with 400ml of skim milk, that's at least 12 grams of protein right there (plus the banana has a bit of good sugar in it which will help with energy post-work out.

As a comparison, expensive protein bars you buy from the supermarket generally contain between 10 and 20 grams of protein (and the protein powders I've used before recommend a serving of about 20 grams from memory), although you get more if you make them with milk, obviously.

Or if I work out before dinner, I often make myself an omelette after a heavy weights workout - four eggs (but only using one of the yolks) with some veggies in there like tomato, capsicum and onion. Approx 4 grams of protein in each egg white, and 2 grams for the yolk gives 18 grams of protein in total which is great. There are a lot of important nutrients in the yolk but also a lot of saturated fat so one yolk is a good compromise, nutritionally.

I'm pretty sure it's important to keep feeding your fatigued muscles with protein for 12 hours (I think!) so if you work out in the evening make sure breakfast is high protein as well.

Re: eating back your calories, only do it if your regular amount of food leaves you hungry! You don't want to be denying your body energy cause that will make tomorrow's workout harder... but if you don't feel hungry (like, an 8 out of 10 hungry or higher) then not eating it will make your weight loss faster.

Good luck! I find a high protein diet, combined with exercise, to be pretty addictive (but in a good way). Once you get a week or two in, you find your body just craves high protein, good foods, and doesn't even want any of the junk I always crave when I'm not exercising!!!!  biggrin.gif

#5 matt1972

Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:09 AM

QUOTE (CupOfCoffee @ 30/01/2013, 07:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I only worry about protein when I do a really big weights workout. If I do cardio, I don't have protein afterwards.  I use a supplement (I am going to change mine to a natural one when my current one is finished, just a whey protein and add some natural vanilla flavour (I don't like the chemical taste of my current one).  I once made a protein bar at home and it was delicious, and easy to have immediately after a work out.

I eat back around half my exercise calories (it is my buffer for accidentally undercounting).

And good luck, I have a similar amount to lose and I am using MFP also.

Do you have the recipe for the protein bar you made?

#6 louise07

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies - most appreciated!

CupOfCoffee - I too would love the protein bar recipe if you still have it.

#7 CupOfCoffee

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

I used this one on youtube: recipe: protein bar

I modified it slightly with what I had.  I took it wrapped in wax paper (in a little container) to eat after my workout.

#8 wesse

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

My trainer has always told me to have a protein shake 30 mins before my weights sessions to aide in muscle recovery (and no, I am not a ironwoman ... in fact I am the opposite!).

If you are thinking of doing a protein shake or bar, try to go for a low carb one.

#9 loubee

Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Don't forget carbs, you need a balance of carbs and protein for recovery, maximum benefit it's best to have within 30mins. During a weekly weights session a boiled egg would be perfect, I tend to have a small snack before gym and breakfast immediately after. After my longest run for the week I have a chocolate milk, usually an Up&Go. A choc milk has the perfect carb/protein mix for recovery as a treat or poached eggs on toast etc... if eating at a café.

Don't get too concerned about protein, our diet tends to be pretty protein rich so it's very few, even those who exercise at a high level, that require too much more.

Edited by loubee, 30 January 2013 - 06:19 PM.

#10 Moneypenny2014

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:58 PM

I agree with all of the above comments though my Sports Nutritionist (who is also a qualified GP) told me to limit dairy - avoid full cream milk, minimal low fat cows milk only and avoid cheese. Limit yoghurt intake.
I instead use almond or rice milk with my protein shake (low carb Evolve purchased from www.asn.com.au) and also with my porridge every morning.
He also told me to have a protein shake within 30 mins of completing a weights sessions and avoid if I do cardio (I also run). Not sure why this is but I must say I find myself drinking a protein shake most days for lunch.
Banana while being fruit also contains sugar, so avoid or limit to say 1/2 banana if you want to lose weight.

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