Building muscle is an incredibly difficult and highly complex procedure that most certainly does not happen overnight, or even over the course of a few days for that matter. A lot of people new to bodybuilding and resistance training in general, think that all they need to do is walk into a gym, grab a set of dumbbells, jump on a few machines, and then eat and drink whatever they like, whenever they like, and still build muscle. Days, weeks, even months will go by, and these individuals will find themselves becoming more and more frustrated with each passing day, due to the fact that their physiques are barely changing at all. They think that, just because they’re lifting weights in the gym, that they’re therefore doing all they need to do to grow. In reality, however, lifting weights in the gym is simple, compared with not only eating the right foods, drinking the right drinks, and using the right supplements, but getting their nutritional timings just right as well. Some of the greatest post workout best timing tips, for example, talk about the importance of not only getting the right nutrients into your body, but also getting them into your body at the right time, which is where post-workout nutrition comes into the mix.
Why Is Post-workout Nutrition So Important?
Post-workout nutrition is, not surprisingly, referring to which foods, drinks and/or supplements you happen to consume following your workout in the gym. In terms of importance, post-workout nutrition is, by far, the most important nutritional aspect of any bodybuilding regime. The main reason why post-workout nutrition is so important, is all down to what is known as the “anabolic window”. In order for us to grow, we need to ensure that our bodies have plenty of nutrients, including protein and amino acids, which are essential for growth and repair. Without them, we simply cannot grow and repair our muscles, which means that lifting weights could actually be doing more harm than good. When we lift weights, the cells in our muscles quickly use up glycogen and various other nutrients, which are used as primary sources of energy. After we finish training, we need to replenish these glycogen and nutrient levels because they’re completely empty. The good thing, however, is that as they’re completely empty, and because they’re being exerted so hard during training, these cells are actually anabolically primed to absorb more nutrients than usual. The cells only remain in this state for around one hour, however, which is what is known as the anabolic window. As they can absorb more nutrients, you can get more in your system, and they can immediately get to work with doing what they do, which is initiating protein synthesis and assisting with post-workout recovery.
What Are The Best Post-workout Supplements?
As you need to get these nutrients into your muscles, or rather, into the cells within your muscles as quickly as possible, post-workout supplements are always recommended, because they’re so convenient. For example, eating a meal immediately after you exercise will not only be tricky and much less convenient, as it will be whole food that you’re consuming, it will take longer to be broken down and absorbed, which means that the more time goes by, the less nutrients the cells will be able to absorb. The best post-workout supplements include:
Whey protein is absolutely essential because protein is course vital for muscle growth and repair. A whey protein shake immediately following your workout is absolutely essential, so if you only purchase one post-workout supplement, make sure it’s whey.
Glutamine is an important amino acid in regards to post-workout recovery. Studies have found that glutamine can help to speed up protein synthesis and can enhance post-workout recovery rates, so adding a scoop to your post-workout shake is a great place to begin.
Dextrose is basically a form of sugar, making it a very simple carbohydrate. The reason why dextrose is so important is because this sugar can cause a spike in our insulin levels after we workout. Insulin basically works as a transport system, shuttling nutrients into our blood streams and then our cells themselves. Because our cells are primed to absorb more nutrients after we exercise, spiking insulin levels allows more of them to be shuttled into them, basically allowing more to be absorbed, and much quicker.
Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, are comprised of three amino acids: Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine. All three amino acids play a vital role in post-workout nutrition and recovery, particularly leucine, which has been found to greatly enhance protein synthesis and energy levels.
Post-workout Nutrition Tips
Before we wrap things up, we’ll first share a few handy post workout best timing tips to help ensure that you get the absolute best out of your post-workout nutrition. To begin with, always mix your post-workout shake with water, never milk. This is because milk is thicker than water, and takes far longer to be digested, broken down, and absorbed. Speed is essential with post-workout nutrition, as you want to get those nutrients into your muscles as quickly as possible. Finally, if you don’t have any dextrose powder to mix into your shake, eat a few candies or sugary fruits such as an orange, as the sugars they contain will spike your insulin levels and do the job they’re supposed to do.