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Post Workout Nutrition & what you need to know
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If you don’t workout long or very intense, post-workout nutrition isn’t as important as you may think. There are, on the other hand, times that you do need to replenish with post-workout nutrition. Long, intense sessions break muscles down and need to be followed up with a decent dose of protein.
As I mentioned earlier, all trainees (male or female), regardless of their chosen mode of exercise, must take their post-exercise nutrition seriously in order to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs. As all types of exercise use carbohydrates for energy, muscle carbohydrate depletion is inevitable. One question we get asked a lot is whether carbs are absolutely necessary post workout, especially if fat loss is the major goal. The short answer is: no. In fact, in some of my programs you may be cutting out all carbs if you’re in the extreme phase of a diet.
The primary purpose of post-exercise nutrition is to replenish glycogen stores. Glycogen is one of the primary fuels for muscular contraction. Just 3 sets of 12 reps can almost cut your glycogen stores in half. Most strength workouts encompass far more volume, and can deplete glycogen even more severely.
In terms of timing, you should be careful not to focus too many of your post-workout nutrition choices on protein. Immediately post-workout you want to focus on replenishing carbohydrate, and adding some protein to your food/drink choices may help accelerate the uptake of carbohydrate. So, when should you consume the most protein?
Actually, never. In most cases, this would unpleasant, difficult and not a standard workout protocol. So here’s the deal: if you’ve actually had a pre-workout meal or any other recent meal, there’s no crucial, do-or-die need to eat after your workout – especially if you’re still “burping up” that bar you ate before your exercise session. Well, not really. A typical post workout shake will generally contain a mixture of whey protein and simple carbohydrates mixed in water, which is then consumed within about 30 minutes after the workout is complete.
As we’ve mentioned, post-workout nutrition requires two things: Protein to aid in protein synthesis Carbohydrates to help replace muscle glycogen (and to enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients into cells) You could certainly eat a whole food meal that meets these requirements after exercise. Since a post-workout protein shake doesn’t really seem to boost muscle growth or strength gains, you might be asking whether you will benefit from including protein shakes in your diet at all. While the answer to this question primarily depends on your ability to get enough protein from “real food”, there are also other considerations you.
It’s possible that for athletes doing more than one workout in a day the extra speed of absorption featured by taking in a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein post-workout is a good idea. For everyone else, focusing on protein and total calories is just as good for your muscles, and probably better for your health. References.
List of related literature:
|from Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body|
|from Practical Applications In Sports Nutrition BOOK ALONE|
|from Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine|
|from Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life|
|from The Life Plan: How Any Man Can Achieve Lasting Health, Great Sex, and a Stronger, Leaner Body|
|from Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.|
|from Sports Medicine: Study Guide and Review for Boards|
|from Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance: Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength|
|from Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism, Fourth Edition|
|from Concepts in Biology’ 2007 Ed.2007 Edition|