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Post Workout Nutrition: Cheesecake...

The period immediately after your training is known as your, "Post Workout Nutrient Window." We're not exaggerating when we say this is the most important meal of your day. Forget breakfast, dinner, lunch or supper! If you get your post workout nutrition right it will have the greatest impact on your training goals. This is because during a workout (whatever format it may be) your goal should be to load your body above its habitual level. This is what it's used/accustomed to doing. This is the basic Law of Adaptation and it means by the next session you will be able to do a little more and therefore improve. But here lies the problem. Research shows that when you train at an intensity above 90% of your maximum heart rate or near exhaustion, your oxygen usage skyrockets. This in turn causes an increase in lactic acid in the muscles, which in turn cases your body to pull alkaline reserves from bones and other mineral dense sources. All in all the body has a lot to deal with. Which is exactly why you need to effectively feed it to repair and regrow bigger, faster, stronger and fitter. If you don't do this effectively it's easy to see how this entire thing we call "training" can be counterproductive.

So what should we feed our bodies? Well this is where the fun begins and this is where you can get creative with recipes like this protein cheesecake. Completely backed by research here we breakdown the science you need to know. Firstly let's begin with the basics, and you'll notice from the nutritional information that it's quite high in protein. This is so important after training since this is your post-workout anabolic window and what you eat can have a profound effect on your training. This is because your muscles are starved and require protein quickly in order to repair microtears and increase in size. What's more during this time your body can absorb more protein compared to any other time of the day. To quote research published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, "it has been shown that muscle protein synthetic rate (MPS) is elevated in humans by 50% at 4 hours following a bout of heavy resistance training." This is exactly the reason this particular cheesecake boasts an impressive 139g protein content.

The entire recipe has been made with a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. This is to ensure you've enough carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores that have been depleted during training but also the high carbohydrate content serves to spike insulin levels. Insulin is known as an anabolic "storage hormone" which means it signals to the body to store nutrients--including the 139g of protein--and kick-start the entire recovery process. Specifically looking at the biscuit-like base of the cheesecake in more detail, this has also been scientifically formulated as the quality of the carbohydrates you eat, not just the quantity, can have a profound effect on your training. For this reason I decided to forgo the usual dextrose and maltodextrin post workout and instead opted for a nutrient dense base made from berries, honey and muesli. Rich in vitamins, minerals and smaller phytonutrients, these are the smaller micronutrients that are often overlooked when training but those that can have a positive impact on our immune system, fat loss and many other benefits.


The Cheesecake!

Ingredients : Topping

+ 500g quark + 250g natural yogurt

+ 60g Whey Protein 80 (Vanilla Creme)

+ 2 egg whites

+ 1 packet gelatine *Optional but helps create a thicker texture

+ 50g blueberries + 50g strawberries

Ingredients : Base

+ 450g muesli

+ 2 tsp honey or Zero Syrups™

+ 1 tsp Organic Coconut Oil

Directions : Topping

+ Add gelatin to water. *If using powder, 1 tsp is the equivalent to 1 packet/leaf

+ In a large separate bowl, mix the yogurt, whey protein and quark. Mix until smooth with no lumps then add gelatin

+ In separate bowl whisk egg whites and add to yogurt, whey protein and quark mixture

+ Finally carefully place the strawberries and blueberries into the mixture

Directions : Base

1 Heat coconut oil and honey until melted and stir in oats until fully coated with oil and honey

2 Place mixture in springform tin. Gentle press the mixture into place.

3 When cooled, spread topping mixture over the base gently.

4 Place in fridge for at least 4 hours.



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