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The Importance of Post Workout Nutrition
By Alex Rogers of ProteinFactory.com
Postworkout nutrition is essential for anyone wanting to achieve a lean and muscular body. Getting the proper amount of nutrients especially carbohydrates, proteins, electrolytes, and antioxidants is vital to achieve your physique goals. If you want to lose bodyfat, gain muscle, or just maintain, using a postworkout drink is the most important time if any, to use a postworkout supplement.
Working out is a catabolic activity. Catabolic is defined as a negative nitrogen state in the body. Bad things happen when your catabolic. The most prevalent is a loss of muscle mass. You see when working out, all your body knows is that you are subjecting it to a stressful activity. And your body’s #1 concern is survival. Thus energy is the key. While you exercise the body seeks energy from somewhere, either from the fat you have on your body or your muscle tissue. It will pull glycogen stored in your body for energy. Once that is depleted it will begin to chew up muscle mass for energy. If this begins to occur you are in a catabolic state!
How many times have you a person that is skinny yet they still have that saggy, loose skin look to them, with barely any muscle mass? This is because they are constantly putting themselves in a catabolic state by exercising too much and not getting enough postworkout nutrition. This “saggy/skinny” look I feel is more commonly associated with women because they restrict their calories and exercise for prolonged periods of time, because they associate calories with bodyfat.
The key to a good looking, tight, youthful body is to maintain to the best of your ability an anabolic state. An anabolic state is defined as being in a positive nitrogen state. How do you get into an anabolic state? Protein and anabolic steroids. Of course I never recommend steroids because even though they produce dramatic results quickly, in the end, the results are short-lived, and you are only cheating yourself. Thus protein is the key to maintain an anabolic condition. The best protein for postworkout is hydrolyzed or predigested protein. If you cannot find a hydrolyzed protein than a common whey protein isolate or whey concentrate will do a good job. Try to consume some form of protein every 2 to 3 hours whether it comes from protein powder supplement or a common whole food such as tuna, chicken, or any lean meat.
After you have conquered getting a good supply of protein every day, especially postworkout, you want to combine this protein with carbs. After working out your body is craving energy. Carbohydrates is the body’s #1 choice for quick energy supply. If you do not consume carbs and only protein powder postworkout, then your body will use the amino acids in the protein for energy instead of the amino acids going to the muscle. Therefore always combine carbs with protein postworkout. I like to recommend whole natural carbs sources instead of supplemental carb powders, such as maltodextrin and dextrose. Even those these provide quick energy, in the long run they will contribute to fat gains. Thus combine natural carbs like fruit or oatmeal with a protein supplement postworkout to bring your body into an anabolic state.
How much and what do I recommend postworkout?
Person trying to lose weight. I recommend a 1 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein. Consume 40 grams of natural carbs with 40 grams of whey protein.
Person trying to increase muscle mass while keeping bodyfat as low as possible. 1 to 1 ratio. Consume 40 grams of natural carbs with 40 grams of whey protein.
Person trying to gain weight rapidly. 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein. Consume 90 to 100 grams of carbs and 30 to 40 grams of protein.
I do not recommend the following.
1) Prohormones. These are illegal even though still sold. And secondly they are all MADE in CHINA, and could be very dangerous to use.
2) Energy Drinks and coffee. A lot of people use these preworkout. These all contain caffeine. Caffeine releases cortisol which is a CATABOLIC hormone.
3) Nitric Oxide supplements, with the exception of GPLC. Nitric Oxide supplements mainly contain caffeine, especially the powdered preworkout ones, which as stated above releases cortisol. And secondly L-Arginine does nothing to raise nitrate levels in the body, even though supplement makers market otherwise.
4) L-Glutamine. I feel this is worthless as you can just consume more protein.
5) Beta-Alanine. China made supplement.
If you need a boost preworkout, consume a high glycemic fruit such as a banana or grapes.
Supplements I DO recommend postworkout
1) Hydrolyzed protein
2) Whey protein.
3) BCAA’s (Japanese made only)
4) Creatine, but only CREAPURE, nothing else.
Finally, try to consume some sort of anti-oxidant postworkout. Something such as vitamin C or any of these new superfruits.
About the author.
Alex Rogers is the President of Theta Brothers Sports Nutrition Inc and on the executive board of Bodybuilding Provision Technologies Inc. He is one of the worlds fore-most experts on protein supplementation and nutraceutical supplements in relationship to sports nutrition. He has been involved in sports supplementation for over 15 years and continues to work in the sports nutrition and functional food research and development fields. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org