This is a key topic that many many people have very different opinions on, so all I would like to suggest is for you to find out what truly works for you, rather than listening to the experts (including me)!
For many years I followed the hype – high sugar & whey protein ASAP after the workout, to ensure my body got all the recovery it needed. This was flawed on so many levels, and only now am I finding a better way, for me.
You see, when you train hard, you stimulate the body into releasing testosterone, and also growth hormone (the master hormones). When you increase insulin in the body (after eating food), you stop this process, as it cuts off the pathways for the master hormones.
A balance is required, because we do need nutrients to help recovery, but why not enjoy the benefits of two master male hormones for as long as possible.
Whey protein is not ideal.
Not convinced? Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell for a long list of reasons, and then come back to me.
Whey is most likely contaminated with all sorts of crap hormone residues from the initial ingredients. Non-organic milk contains all the hormones fed to the cows, and you can bet most whey protein isn’t from free-range organic unpasteurised milk to begin with. That, concentrated down milk, and processed, isn’t likely to be helpful, and for those who have tried, not that easily digestible. Some of the worst gas episodes ever experienced must have come from post-workout whey protein drinks.
We also see a lot of ‘pro’ athletes sipping on drinks throughout their workouts – all good, and it clearly works for them. Or at least it does on the adverts. But most of us are not ‘pros’, nor do we have the ‘extra’ support these people have, so what works for them may not work for you.
So what do I do?
Step 1 – Hydrate
The key to recovery is re-mineralisation and re-hydration of the body’s cells, because if the body is dehydrated, the cells cannot easily remove the lactic acid / metabolites created whilst training. Optimal hydration is a massive key in body health, not just pre or post workout.
You can buy a fancy post workout drink, likely to contain artificial blah blah blah, or just drink a litre of fresh filtered water, with a pinch of sea salt in it. This will rehydrate and remineralise you very very quickly, allowing the cells to have the optimum balance of fluid within them. The benefit being, that all waste products created during the workout can flow out, and all replacement nutrients you take in will get to where they are required.
Step 2 – Wait
Wait at least an hour post training, before downing that post-recovery drink, so that you can enjoy the benefit of the two master male hormones, circulating inside of you. Growth hormone is the ultimate longevity hormone, so make the most of what your body has created. Testosterone will do what it does best, and help repair that muscle you have just trained.
Step 3 – Replenish
After an hour or so, you are rehydrated, hormone’d up, and ready to replenish the tanks. In my opinion, the recipe below is the best post workout drink I have ever had! It’s easy for the body to absorb, gives the body what it requires, and supports the body to replenish, enhancing all the major aspects of recovery.
Add all ingredients to a blender and whizz for 30 seconds until combined.
- 250ml organic watermelon juice (whole fruit, especially the seeds, as these are incredible for male health), or organic coconut water.
- 15gm Be Spunki RECOVER powder.
This may come as a surprise. No whey. No real sugar. And and and. But … there is method in the madness of why this formula is hands-down the best post-recovery drink.
The body is an energy machine, and post training energy is in short supply. To maximise recovery, we need a net energy surplus, to facilitate this. Net energy being the energy left after the body has digested and processed the fuel it takes in, and cleaned out the waste products created during training.
Whey, and the like, are not that easy to process, taking a lot of energy. Spirulina on the other hand contains 300% more protein than fish, meat or whey, has massive amounts of iron, vitamin B12, chlorophyll and anti-oxidants, and is 4 times more easily absorbed than any other protein. A true superfood, and protein supplier at the same time!
Mixed with the watermelon, you will get an insulin spike, which at this time is very helpful to drive those nutrients into the cells.
The herbs are all included for specific reasons (specific details of the properties for each herb will come in a later post, so be sure that you subscribe to our mails) but the short version is: they help to detoxify and clean out the blood, increase antioxidants within the body, support the adrenal glands which take a real beating with all the external stress factors, balance blood sugar levels (so as not to crash post-workout) and support general hormone function. So many benefits, all designed to support recovery of the body, so you can train again sooner, feeling replenished and rejuvenated.
I appreciate you may well be in a rush post-training, so we have made it easy for you – BE SPUNKI RECOVER is available as a ready-mixed powder with 12 natural and organic herbs in an Australian grown spirulina base – ready to add to watermelon juice.
If you can’t get your hands on fresh organic watermelons to blend yourself, then the next best thing, as far as we’re aware, is H2 Melon Water. You can buy it here.
Give it a try, and let us know how you get on.
Shaun, co-founder of Be Spunki