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Post Workout Nutrition

Post workout nutrition is a relatively new sub category of supplements which has come to the forefront in the past few years as the subject of nutrient timing has also gained momentum. It is not only important “what” we eat, but also “when” we eat it that matters. Science has shown that the body reacts differently in regards to recovery when carbohydrates and protein are available directly after training, as opposed to even an hour later.

Sometime during the later half of your workout the body begins to go into a catabolic, or “muscle wasting” state. The body has used up its energy stores during your workout and begins to strip away muscle proteins to use for energy. This, along with elevation of Cortisol levels creates an unwanted effect. The goal is to always try to be in an “anabolic” or “muscle building” state, where muscle fibers are being built, not destroyed.

By ingesting fast digesting carbohydrates and proteins like fructose and whey, the body can halt the catabolic process before it really gets going and revert quickly back to anabolism, saving your precious muscle mass and improving recovery ability in the process. The idea is that by buying a pre-made post workout product, all of the optimal ratios of carbs and proteins have been engineered for you, and all you need to worry about it mixing it up and drinking it after your workout.

If you have issues with eating real meals in a timely fashion after your training then using a post workout supplement is a great idea as it is easy to consume a liquid shake afterward. You can take care of immediate nutritional needs, then eat a real meal an hour or two later when you are hungry. If you are typically hungry after your workouts, then eating in the first half hour or so should have the same positive effect for your recovery. Regardless of what form you choose to take in your post workout nutrition, make sure that you do for optimal gains in size, strength and recovery.

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