When you exercise, your body burns both carbs and fat for energy. Its first resource for energy will come from your glycogen stores, and when they are depleted, it will reach for stored fat for fuel. You have a 30 minute window, after training, to replenish your glycogen stores for recovery. Within this period, your muscle glycogen is most readily produced and stored in your muscles and liver. At this time, your body is like a sponge, ready to absorb up whatever you feed it. Providing proper nutrition is vital for fat burning and muscle repair and growth.
Your first post workout meal should be considered more as a snack, and it should contain a combination of fast-digesting carbs and protein. Limit your intake of fat in this meal, because it slows digestion and can slow down the absorption of nutrient. Your second meal, with the same protein-carb combination should come about two hours later.
The post-workout meal depends upon the intensity of training. For example, if you just did a killer spin class, your carb-to-protein ratio should be about 3:1; but if you did an intense weight training session, the carb-to-protein ration would be more balanced, 1:1 because you need the extra protein for muscle repair.
A good example would be, for cardio interval training, lasting 40 min. or longer, have 20 grams protein, 60 grams carbs. For a moderate weight training session, with moderate cardio afterwards, have 21 grams of protein with 20 grams of carbs.
Post Workout Shake
½ c. orange juice
1/3 c. grapefruit juice
1 scoop whey protein power, or ½ c. yogurt
1 small banana
2 tsp. honey (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth. (You can use juices of your choice)