Doctor's Orders: Post-Workout Food
Think of the post-training meal as two-tiered. First comes the liquid protein recovery drink and fast carbs, mentioned yesterday. Second, about 30-to-60 minutes later, comes a large solid-food meal high in protein. To really maximize mass-building with the Shortcut to Size program, you also want to consume a significant quantity of slow-digesting carbs at this meal (at least 30-to-60 grams) from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, or whole-wheat pasta.
If you train right before dinner, be sure to add these carbs to the sample dinner menu that focuses mainly on protein and fibrous carbohydrates from vegetables. Piggy-backing another meal on the post-workout shake and carbs helps keep muscle protein synthesis turned on for longer, and that can lead to greater muscle growth. Plus, since the carbs from these two post-workout meals will be used to replenish your glycogen levels, there is little chance they will get turned into fat, regardless of what time of day it is. Yes, even at night.
If you lift very late at night and then go to bed within an hour or so of your workout, follow your post-workout shake and fast carbs with a whole food meal that consists of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt to take advantage of the slow-digesting casein. With that, have a cup of cooked oatmeal, a medium sweet potato, or ½ cup of cooked brown rice.
Remember that every rest day should be an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.