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Post-Ride Nutrition
#1
What is the best post-ride nutrition? Do I do a protein shake like after weight training? I know lots of water, banana, etc. - but protein?
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#2
Most of your protein shake that you take in after your workout will likely just get burned up. The concept of the "anabolic window" is simply an umbrella term, which relates to the fact that protein is synthesized faster, because you have worked up a surplus of metabolites in your bloodstream from activity, which powers the metabolic paths of protein synthesis. Thanks catabolism.

Certainly, it's not to say that taking in whole protein after exercise is bad. There is a latency in the digestion process of whole protein though. Even whey and plant proteins, which can be broken down the fastest. This latency isn't exactly intuitive for your on-demand macronutrient needs. And this is the most important thing to note about whole protein.

I personally recommend taking in a blend of simple and complex carbs first and foremost, with free-form aminos to help calm the metabolic state. Once it has churned down, whole protein that you take in will be synthesized and become apart of your protein stores (which is what you truly want—and what "anabolic window" advocates suggest happens—but doesn't happen necessarily).

You should also be taking in carbs, aminos, fatty acids, and electrolytes intra-workout to help stave catabolism.

BCAA are best intra-workout and can help post-workout. EAA are best post-workout, but also reverse compatible. Your blend of carbs wants to see something like 30~50g of simple carbs, and some 25g of complex carbs. These proportions of course can vary based on your size, but when you're coming out a demanding state, there's really no such a thing as a surplus. Your body is going to continue to burn energy for hours after.

Simple fatty-acids (omegas) and complex fatty-acids (triglycerides) are a huge benefit to helping to stave catabolism. They should be consumed pre, intra, and post-workout if possible. The energy needs of the body are multi-faceted, so if you're not catering to all its needs, then it's taxing on the body to have to make for that deficit. Cholesterol is needed as a carrier to metabolize fatty-acids for energy. It's also needed to build and maintain new and healthy cell walls, so you definitely don't want to starve yourself on cholesterol.

Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients, especially b-vitamins for the metabolism, and iron for (literally every cell in your body) and to carry oxygen into cells. Taking a shard of a multi-vitamin can help quickly meet your micronutrient needs.
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