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Thread: Post-lifting nutrition for body recomp page

  1. #1
    powk's Avatar
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    Post-lifting nutrition for body recomp

    Primal Fuel
    Hi all,

    Two questions on post-lifting nutrition.

    My base diet is meat/veggies/nuts. I do weightlifting ~3 times per week - after which I have a protein shake and 'extra' carbs (fruit or sweet potato) to increase protein / carb intake immediately after lifting. I also do a carb refuel day once per week (kind of like a paleo cheat day). I'm worried that my protein shake is bad for me, and that I'm eating too many 'extra' carbs post-workout. Basically, I want to ingest sufficient protein/carbs to enable muscle growth, but I don't want to take in bad stuff / too much.

    Some additional context:
    I'm 5'9", ~170-175 lb, ~12-14% bodyfat
    My goal is body recomp of ~5 lbs of fat to muscle to reduce bodyfat ~3pp

    So, my questions are:

    1) How many 'extra' carbs do you think I need post-workout to capture the potential muscle gain? I'm doing ~45 minutes of hypertrophy-oriented lifting (i.e., I don't think I'm depleting glycogen like an endurance athlete). Currently eating ~10 oz. of berries/mango/etc. or 1 medium sweet potato.

    2) Does my current protein shake (Syntha 6 - Vanilla BSN® SYNTHA-6™ - Vanilla Ice Cream - BSN - GNC) contain anything too terrible for me? I'm pretty sure the soy lecithin at least is not helpful. I'm considering doing whey protein isolate + cocoa powder + coconut milk - does that seem better? I've tried straight whey protein isolate in the past, and it tastes really bad, so I'd like to add paleo-friendly ingredients to help taste (maybe almond butter, too?). This topic feels very subjective, btw, with many varied opinions, so any insight is appreciated.

    Thank you for all of your insight and expertise!!

    ~Teddy

  2. #2
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    1.) It is unlikely that you would burn more glucose than that found in a single sweet potato during this workout (30-50g). So looks like your strategy should be fine as a post workout carb load.

    2.) Some info on choosing whey protein here Ori Hofmekler On Whey Protein: Isolate or Concentrate?

  3. #3
    powk's Avatar
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    Thanks Neckhammer! I appreciate your perspective.

    For #1, I double checked my carb sources and portion sizes on Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com, and it looks like I'm falling into the 30-50g range with my post-workout carbs. If that's sufficient carbs, it looks like I'm OK with this portion size.

    For #2, it looks like Mark also did a write-up of different whey protein types here: Whey Protein: Isolate, Conentrate, Hydrolysate | Mark's Daily Apple
    So it looks like I'll be in the market for whey protein concentrate. Does anyone have recommendations for flavor additives (e.g., cocoa powder, vanilla extract, etc.)? Any odd ones that wouldn't normally come up but you'd recommend?

  4. #4
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    It's tough to both gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. If I were you I'd just eat a ton to gain the desired muscle and then cut back the carbs when its time to shed the fat. Shedding the fat is always the easy part.

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    I should put the disclaimer "for well-trained individuals", which I excluded because it sounds like you fit that description.

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    Thanks Koobs!! I've heard similar advice in the past - I'm probably being greedy aiming for both muscle gain and fat loss at the same time.

    Quick follow-up Q: You mention that shedding the fat is the easy part, but that's where I face the most difficulty. That said, I've never tried for full ketosis (<20g carbs per day) for more than a day or two in the past. Does anyone have experience maintaining muscle mass while in longer stretches of ketosis (5 days or more)? If I were to try longer stretches of ketosis to lose fat, how should I adjust my workouts, if at all? I found an interesting article here Bodybuilding.com - How Can You Preserve Muscle While Cutting? that recommends the same workouts, but if anyone has divergent experience it would be great to hear.

    Thanks again!!

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    My personal experience is that the protein matters more post-workout than the carbs for recovery and strength gains. That's just me. However, after a true heavy lifting workout, I definitely eat extra carbs like sweet potato or white rice. We're talking a found-a-new-PR, muscles-are-shaking lifting session.

    I have a scoop of Isopure in water after each workout. It does have soy lecithin, but otherwise, the ingredient profile and flavor are the best I've found for the price. If you want to go super clean and fancy, there's always Primal Fuel.

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    Thanks for the Isopure recommendation, heatseeker! This will be the next protein powder to try. It's funny, I was going to get a whey protein concentrate (rather than isolate), but I could not find a relatively inexpensive, 'extras' free concentrate. And then you look at Primal Fuel, and it's got the isolate in it!! Hah - the proof is in the pudding.

    I'm going to order some unflavored, along with pure Stevia, and then start experimenting with various paleo flavor additives (honey, vanilla, cinnamon, fruit) for a shake.

    Also, great job with your blog!! Keep it up. I've been journaling/blogging (password-protected, hah) as a mental release and to track progress, it's super helpful for motivation.
    Last edited by powk; 02-01-2013 at 02:43 PM.

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    I pretty much stopped taking protein shakes (I do use 10g BCAAs, Milk, 1 teaspoon honey).....just eat a steak or half a chicken, work better than expensive shakes.
    "Go For Broke"
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  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Wanderlust - I'm with you in spirit. However, I want to take advantage of the 30-minute post-workout window for taking in protein. Between stretching and walking home, I'm already 20 minutes post-workout, at least. I can't prep and eat [insert any protein] nearly fast enough - definitely not as fast as a shake drank at the gym or immediately after getting home. Any recommendations to get around this?

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