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Wouldn’t it be great to hear that there is at least one time throughout your day that it is ok to eat fast-acting carbohydrates? Well, that time exists and it is immediately after exercise. We’re always talking about slow-digesting, unprocessed carbs, but that isn’t what your body needs post-exercise.

When you exercise, the energy that you put out comes from stored sugars in your cells as glycogen. Your cells are only capable of storing so much glycogen and if you exercise intensely, you can actually use up your body’s glycogen. When your body has no more glycogen, it will start to convert protein in your body (read: muscle tissue) into glycogen. This process has the net effect of slowing your metabolism, which you probably don’t want.

The easy way to make sure that this doesn’t happen, and your body gets what it needs, is to drink a Recovery Shake within 30 minutes of finishing exercise. In order to be effective, a Recovery Shake should have 3 parts fast-acting carbohydrates (like, from fruit) and 1 part protein. The carbs replace the glycogen that you just used and provide the energy to repair your body. The protein is the material used for that repair. Any whey or plant-based protein supplement can do the job, so long as it is GMO and hormone-free. The perfect plan is to have the amount of calories you ingest post-exercise match the amount of calories you just burned exercising.

You can use a Sqware Meals shake as a Recovery Shake, but you’ll have to add some fast-acting carbs to really get what your body needs. There are tons of websites that can give you a good idea of how many calories you just burned while exercising, but a typical workout usually burns about 300 calories. Try blending in some berries or eating a banana with your SQWARE MEALS Shake to get to 300. We've got some additional suggestions here.

Meal Timing

When you choose to exercise can affect your meal planning. Some of you are morning people, some mid-day and some would rather do it in the evening. Timing your meals properly makes reaching your wellness goals easier. Don’t let your busy lifestyle get in the way of getting your body the right nutrition at the right time.

This easy-to-follow chart helps you get it right, no matter when you exercise. Consider this a guideline and adjust to your daily life as necessary. The last snack of the day is optional, but should be consumed if, by the end of the day, you have not met your calorie goals. You can use it as a way to get more calories, protein, fats or carbs into your day. Also, the calorie targets per meal will decrease by 10% if you are on the 1600 calories/day plan or increase by 10% if you are on the 2000 calories/ day plan.

Note: A SQWARE MEALS Shake can be used for any meal or your Recovery Shake. Remember, you have to drink 2 SQWARE MEALS Shakes a day during the 30-Day program.