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Articles > Nutrition > Post Workout Nutrition
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You have to plan and take the most central meal of the day correctly if you want your diet campaign to maximize muscle growth. This important meal is, of course, the one you have post workout. A large proportion of veterans as well as almost all novice weightlifters underrate the magnitude of the post workout meal. Strategic post-workout nutrition can significantly add to the efficiency of your training when applied properly and consistently.

Your body system is affected by three major factors following a forceful weight lifting workout:

1. Glycogen, the carbohydrate fuel that gives weightlifters the appearance of being pumped, is low. Only certain kinds of carbohydrates will replenish muscle glycogen. These can be found in specialty drinks consisting mainly of glucose and protein, and if possible you should guzzle one of these drinks within thirty minutes after training. You can mix a number of useful products for an ideal post workout drink. Ed Sturm, in his article Post Workout Nutrition, recommends combining MET-Rx Creatine AC with Whey Protein for increased strength and stamina as well as better muscle fullness and pumps.

You have to increase your capacity to store glycogen in your muscles so as to expand muscular endurance and thus become able to do longer and more intense workouts. High-carbohydrate diets optimize muscle glycogen levels, and a high concentration of muscle glycogen enhances endurance exercise performance.

2. Protein breakdown is amplified. Muscle protein status is negative when you're hungry. This means that more protein is being broken down than is being synthesized, leading to muscle protein loss. Liquid nutrients after exercise can shift the net protein status in a positive direction. Taking in carbohydrates just after exercise also appears to have a marked effect on protein metabolism.

Why do carbs save, and even increase, the manufacture of proteins? Amino acids are the subunits of proteins, and an enzyme called BCOAD, on which carbs have a calming effect, controls some amino acids. BCOAD activity is also impacted by chronic training, which causes a slump in its activity in the muscles.

3. Muscle protein balance is negative. This is regulated by the balance between protein synthesis and protein breakdown in the following way:
Muscle protein balance = protein synthesis – protein breakdown
Immediately after an endurance workout, protein synthesis goes down and protein breakdown goes up. This leads to negative protein balance and loss of muscle.

Working out causes severe alterations in the metabolic atmosphere of muscle tissue and during training muscles use metabolic fuels at an accelerated pace. For your body to mend damaged tissue and replenish fuel reserves, you must bring in carbohydrates, protein and fat into your system post exercise.

Immediately after a workout, for fast healing from exercise, you must:
1. Swiftly refill the glycogen stores in your muscles.
2. Quickly reduce the muscle protein breakdown that comes about with exercise, particularly high-intensity bodybuilding training.
3. Force further increases in muscle protein synthesis

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are important for performance and perhaps more importantly for glycogen recovery. They are your body's preferred energy source and can be broken down into two categories: simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are only suggested for the first two hours following your workout. During this period, often considered the post workout window of opportunity, your body and your muscles are very receptive to simple sugars.

Proteins

Whether we actively think about them or not, proteins are a necessary element of our everyday existence. The key components to attaining the condition of anabolism are protein in combination with high GI carbohydrates post-workout. At this stage speedy absorption via rapid gastric emptying is of supreme importance.

Fat

The effects of fat in the post-workout meal are not well known. Essential fatty acids in adequate amounts have the ability to change physiology. Some forms of fat may delay gastric emptying which could slow the rate at which nutrients become available to the tissues. There is also some indication that cholesterol may be an important nutrient immediately after high intensity resistance exercise.

Insulin

Insulin has a significant function in both carbohydrate and amino acid transport across the muscle cell membranes, and it also works as an important signaling molecule to fuel protein synthesis. It's obvious then, that insulin has a vital responsibility in post-workout recovery of protein balance. Whether or not you need large insulin bursts depends on your aims – if you're interested in maximum growth and recovery, then you should flood the body with protein, carbohydrates and insulin.

The muscle cells are extremely receptive to insulin following training. This critical phase of receptiveness is officially identified as facilitated diffusion.

Post Cardio

Eat a balanced meal one hour after cardio to burn body fat. The rationale behind waiting one hour is to take advantage of your elevated metabolism and to allow your body to continue using its stores of fat for fuel.

Recovery Nutrition

The recovery process must be regarded as part of your training process. Directly following a workout, a "window of opportunity" is there for you to help your body refill its tank. Good recovery will let you to restore nutrients, dispose of lactic acid, and replenish energy storage. This is also a superb time to supplement. The quantity and form of carbohydrate used for recovery will depend on quite a few conditions, but there are advantages to liquid forms.

Quality and quantity is key if you're concerned about building a great body, so this is not the best time to overindulge or feast.

 

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