Fact Or Fiction: 4 Most Popular Post-Workout Nutrition Claims

Since everyone knows a thing or two about fitness nowadays, it doesn’t come as a surprise that you can learn something new about working out or nutrition every day. While some of these words of wisdom may help you achieve your fitness goals, others have no basis in reality whatsoever.

To help you determine whether some of the most popular fitness myths are fact or fiction, here are scientific explanations that could help you get to the bottom of these four claims.

  1. Your post-workout meal should be consumed immediately after working out.

Just after you finish with your set in the gym for the day, your body is in need of calories in order to optimize your protein synthesis. After a workout, your body is in a catabolic state: a state that the human body enters during normal metabolic functions. A catabolic state, as opposed to an anabolic state, is basically when your body is breaking down nutrients from food on a molecular level, so it can use them to build up mass in tissue and boost muscle growth. So, a good post-workout routine should promote anabolism through immediate protein intake. Carbohydrates alone are not sufficient to induce an anabolic state. What you should do is take in a nutritious, well-balanced meal after at least an hour after your training session. In other words, this claim is definitely a myth and you would do well to ignore it.


  1. Your post-workout meal should be packed with protein and carbs.


Now, this is something all gym goers have heard on more than one occasion. The theory goes like this: your body needs protein in order to decrease the degree of muscle protein breakdown and increase muscle building. As for carbs, they are required so that your system could recharge glycogen levels.

To find out the truth about this claim, we first have to get a basic understanding of the fact that muscle positive protein balance, which is what we achieve when muscle protein synthesis surpasses muscle protein breakdown, causes muscle hypertrophy. In simple English, protein synthesis is the process which occurs when we build muscles.

Now, if you eat protein following a workout, you increase protein synthesis, which is definitely a good idea. Also, taking in protein before and after training increases muscle fiber size, as well as muscle strength, meaning that you can eat all the protein you want when you finish your routine. Heck, you should even consume it before you start working out.

When it comes to carbs, you don’t need to consume them after a workout if you have consumed enough protein to boost muscle protein synthesis.


  1. Whey protein isolate is the most important supplement to take in after your workout.

Whey protein is easily and quickly digested in our system and has a rapid impact on our muscle structure, increasing muscle protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy.

Essential amino acids and protein are both known for their quality to increase muscle protein synthesis to the maximum whereas protein hydrolysate boosts protein digestion and absorption. This means that you should definitely stick to it if your intention is to speed up digestion and absorption.

  1. Your post-workout meal depends on factors such as gender and body type.

If you’re a female working out, then you’ve must have heard it a million times: women have different nutritional needs than men, regardless of their goals. So, even when a man and woman are aiming toward the same result in terms of muscle gain, their post-workout meals should be completely different.

This is absolutely not true. According to science, what you should eat following a workout may depend on a number of external factors such as the type, amount, and frequency of exercise but never on body type, let alone gender.

Also, keep in mind that neither men nor women’s post-workout meals should consist mostly of carbs.

While men or women with more body weight might need to consume more calories than females in general or men with a lower body weight, that doesn’t mean that they need to take in those calories immediately after a workout.


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