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Articles > Nutrition > Post-Workout Nutrition for Rookies
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So how many people tell you that you cannot have sugar when dieting? Don`t you wish to believe they are wrong? Well guess what, they are. Many people feel that because they are dieting that they cannot have sugary foods, but there is one time of the day when your body actually needs these foods. This time is post-workout.

While you train, your muscles use metabolic fuels a fast rate. In order for physical work to be constant, the body circulates stored fuels to create fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose available for oxidation. In order for the body to recover from a training session, your body must be quickly changed to an anabolic state. The foods that you eat after training effects hormonal balances in the body in order for an anabolic environment to take pleace. With the rapid intake of carbohydrates and protein, the body is then able to replace damaged muscle tissue and replenish fuel reserves.

There has been much controversy over which type of carbohydrate is best post-workout. Some say that a simple carb is optimal while others preach that complex carbs such as oatmeal or pasta work just as well. According to Burke, "There is no difference different types of carbohydrates eaten post workout and the rate of glycogen replenishment as long as sufficient quantities of carbohydrate are consumed." Still, the type of carbohydrate you consume post workout will depend on personal preference and whichever one suits you best.

Protein is crucial in order to keep your body in an anabolic state post-workout. Protein also provides amino acids that rebuild damaged muscle tissue after a hard training session. So which type of protein is best post-workou and how much should I consume? The best souce of protein post-workout is 100% whey protein but if whey is not available to you, then any other lean protein source will do the job. The amount of protein you need in your post-workout meal will vary on the individual. I keep track of how many calories I`ve burnt during exercise and replenish that same amount in a 75-25% ratio of simple carbs to protein. This works best for me, but you will need to alter the percentages to best suit your needs.

Getting enough fluids is also important after you train. Some people sweat alot while training while others don`t sweat at all. A good estimate is to have 1ml for every calorie you eat during the day. If you have an insulin spike directly after training you are going to need another meal in a 50-50 ratio of complex carbs to protein to bring glycogen stores back to normal. Treat this meal as any other meal of the day. I hope you`ve learnt the basics of post-workout nutrition. Until next time, later.

Zach Bashore
January 20, 2006

 

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