Clément Golliet: The Post Workout Drink

Written by: Clement Golliet


***Clément is the Director of ACE Fitness overseeing the fitness component of all ACE Tennis High Performance programs. He also offers private and group fitness sessions for ACE and OTA players as required. Clément is a member of the Ontario Kinesiology Association and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from UQÀM – Université du Québec à Montréal. Accredited to use many different types of equipment including, but not limited to T-Rx, Kettle-bell and Viper Clément is a Certified personal trainer with “Pep” and has worked in a clinic with a multidisciplinary team as a kinesiologist in rehabilitation. His duty was to design programs for people with musculoskeletal injuries. A fitness coach for a variety of sports, such as basket-ball, soccer, track running and tennis. Clément’s main interests are in back rehabilitation, injury prevention, performance and biomechanics applied to sports physical conditioning. A high level basketball and cross country runner who has practiced resistance training for over 14 years Clément has a passion for sport.

Philosophy: Applying a methodical and biomechanics approach to physical conditioning, while sparing the joints and the musculoskeletal system is vital to an athletes success.

If you have any questions for Clement, he can be reached here.***


According to USTA statistics, a tennis match can last between 45 minutes to 5 hours. Points duration typically lasts less than 10 seconds with a 20 to 25 seconds rest between each point. A best of 3 sets match requires 300 to 500 high-intensity efforts. Most of the time, tennis players do not have enough time to recover completely and restore after each match. So different strategies need to be put in place to help the player recover as fast as possible between games and tournaments, or after fitness and tennis practice, using hydrotherapies (such as cold, warm water), musculoskeletal aspects (like stretching, foam roller), dietary supplements (proteins). Sleep is also important to facilitate the anabolic process. Recovery is paramount to success. If done correctly, it can make a huge difference.

I would like to focus here on the importance of the nutritional aspects of recovery and especially on recommendations for the post workout drink which is essential to replenish glycogen stores in muscle and liver, restore fluid and electrolyte levels, help repair muscle (anabolic effect) and restoration of the immune system.

To build an efficient post workout drink, it is important to know the timing of when to take it. Current evidence suggests that, for endurance athletes to maximize glycogen re-synthesis, they should consume about 1.2 g carbohydrate per kilogram body weight as glucose and sucrose immediately after exercise with amino acids or protein. Post workout drinks should not only contain carbohydrate and protein, but also contain electrolytes, including about 0.3-0.7 g sodium per litre fluid to help restore sodium lost through sweat.

Even more, the USDA recommends 6 to 20 grams of protein (essential amino acids) within 45 minutes after completing exertion (game, practice or fitness workout) with HIGH glycemic carbohydrate. The recommended ratio is 4:1 (carbohydrates to proteins).

It has been proven that consuming high glycemic carbohydrates – in other words simple sugar – during recovery can result in better glycogen storage up to a rate of 50%. It means that fructose is not as effective as glucose and sucrose to restore glycogen. The conclusion of a study shows that fructose is a poor nutritional precursor for rapid restoration of glycogen in muscle after exercise, but that both glucose and fructose promote quick accumulation of glycogen in the liver.

As much as it is important to have the good type of carbohydrate, the same applies for proteins. An interesting study has proven that whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass compared to soy. Both test groups (whey group vs. soy group) were consuming similar calories and protein during resistance training. Daily supplementation with whey was more effective than soy protein promoting gains in lean body mass. These results highlight the significance of protein quality as an essential determinant of lean body mass responses to resistance training. Compared to soy, whey protein is higher in leucine (a very important amino acid in muscle synthesis) which is absorbed quicker and results in a more pronounced increase in muscle protein synthesis.

Another very surprising study shows the effects of eight weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. The conclusion was that both whey and rice protein isolate administration post resistance exercise, improved indices of body composition and exercise performance; however, there were no differences between the two groups. But many studies have proven that whey protein is one of the most effective types of proteins on the market.

Regarding electrolyte in drinks, coconut water is very good because it is full of magnesium and potassium, but I would recommend the type without added sugar, except for the post workout drink if it is mixed with proteins. Sports drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde etc. can be used as post workout drinks, mixed with proteins as well because they have a high level of glucose and electrolyte. Some juices can be mixed with proteins, but just if they are not only made of fructose.

Some studies recommend low-fat chocolate milk consisting of a 4:1 carbohydrate: protein ratio (similar to many commercial recovery beverages) and providing fluids and sodium to aid in post-workout recovery.

To conclude, there are five important points to remember for the post workout or post game drink:

    – Consume the drink just after the session within a time frame of 30 to 45 min maximum
    – The drink should contain high insulin and glycemic index carbohydrates (i.e. low in fructose)
    – It should also contain a source of quality proteins or amino-acid (whey proteins, eggs, rice protein), between 6 to 20 grams.
    – Respect the ratio 4-3 to 1 (carbohydrates to proteins)
    – Do not forget to add electrolytes

The best and easiest way for this post workout drink is to use chocolate milk because it has the good ratio of carbohydrates vs proteins; it is an affordable recovery beverage and can be found everywhere.

If you do not tolerate dairy such as whey proteins or chocolate milk, I would recommend you do your own shake with rice protein isolate mix with a drink made of glucose or sucrose including electrolyte. Using fruit juice as the basis for your post workout drink can be a good alternative option. I would strongly recommend using rice protein mixed with pea protein powder because both combined together offer a superior amino acid profile that is comparable to dairy or egg proteins. Both types can be found easily and are even made gluten free. For those who are intolerant to gluten, but not to diary, gluten free whey protein is also available on the market.

I usually would not recommend high insulin index drink, but would only do so if it is consumed after the workout within a window of 45 min maximum.

I do not recommend drinks with artificial dyes in sports drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde. Some studies have shown that consuming over 50 mg per day is linked to negative effects on youth like hyperactivity. Furthermore, many say that colorants may give cancer though I did not find any solid studies; but this could be true if one consumes too many chemical food or artificial sweeteners on the long term. So try to limit your consumption of these types of drinks.


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Kleiner, Susan M, and Maggie Greenwood-Robinson. Alimentation Musclée: Construire Du Muscle, Gagner En Énergie, Perdre Du Poids. Paris: Vigot, 1999. Print.

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