Protein And Carb Replenishment After Workouts
- Updated: April 19, 2013
by Jerry Teixeira of Precision Nutrition Plus
With the New Year here and the new race season quickly approaching most ATV racers are training hard in the gym and on the track. If you want to maximize the results you get from training, one very vital element of your diet program that you must make sure is in tact is your post-workout nutrition.
The foods that you consume immediately after stepping out of the gym, the ring or off the track are going to have a profound influence on the progress you make and how you feel in the hours following that session.
Those who are not paying attention to their overall nutritional intake during this time are essentially wasting their workout session, as they will not see the full results that they could have been.
In the post-workout period, you want to be consuming a high quality source of protein, preferably a fast acting one such as whey protein powder isolate, along with a fast acting source of low-fat carbohydrates as well, such as maltodextrin, waxy maize, or some other foods source of carb of your choosing.
Note that you should avoid fruit juice during the post-workout period because this will contain half fructose (sugar), which is a different form of carbohydrate and won’t move into the muscle cells as well as glucose will.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why it’s so vital to be taking in both protein and carbohydrates immediately after your workout.
Improved Muscle Glycogen Replenishment
The very first reason why taking in carbohydrates will be a must during the post-workout period is because at this point in time the muscles are literally primed to suck up any nutrients you feed them and take them right into their cells. This post-workout period will last for about 30 to 45minutes following your workout.
After putting forth a high amount of energy in your training session, you will have depleted all the storage form of chemical energy in the muscle cells, also known as ‘muscle glycogen’, so this must be replenished.
By having a fast acting source of carbohydrate during the post-workout period, these carbohydrates will move directly into the muscle where they can assist with recovery and get stored for use during your next training session.
Rapid Protein Synthesis
Another reason why taking in both protein and carbs post-workout is so vital is because it’s also going to help promote higher rates of protein synthesis. After subjecting your muscle cells to an overloading stimulus, they will have suffered tiny microtears that then need to be repaired.
Since they are fresh out of this break-down period, the repair process will be highly accelerated at this point, so by providing the incoming rush of amino acids to the cells, they’ll have all the structural building blocks they need to complete the repair process.
If you failed to provide protein to the muscles during this point, your recovery rate would be severely hindered – so much so that you may not be able to workout again for the next few days or may actually not see any progress.
Increased Supplement Uptake
Finally, the last reason that protein and carbohydrates are a must-have during the post-workout period is because by having these in your body, you’ll get a really good insulin release, which will then promote the uptake of other molecules into the muscle cells.
If you’re supplementing with other performance and recovery based supplements such as creatine or glutamine, this will further increase the benefits that you’ll see from these.
The faster you can get them into the muscles, the better they will work and having those simple carbs raising insulin levels higher will do the trick perfectly.
So make sure that you take some time to get your post-workout protocol down pat. If you do, you will have far better results to show from your hard work in your training sessions and be better prepared for the coming race season.