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POST-workout explained. What is a POST-workout supplement?

Your POST workout supplement should be high in these two ingredients: protein and carbohydrate.

Walk into any nutrition store and you will be bombarded with tubs of protein, protein and more protein.  Don’t let fancy ad campaigns glitzy labeling and colorful imagery sway you.  You should be consuming protein at NO OTHER stage of your workout than POST.  At all three phases (pre, intra and post) carbohydrate consumption is crucial.  However, protein is a repairing agent and thus, most important to be taken after you have completed your workout.  Combined, carbs will elevate insulin response and help drive nutrients and protein peptides into muscle for optimum repair.

Many athletes choose chocolate milk consumption for their POST-workout fueling.  Chocolate milk is an official sponsor of organizations like the IRONMAN.  It naturally combines both protein and carbohydrate.

If you choose to purchase your own protein powder and carbohydrate powders, both can be mixxed with milk or water.  Both come in multiple flavor choices and various sources.  Protein powders are commonly derived from milk (ie: whey and casein), soy, egg, fish (ie: salmon), hemp, pea and rice.  Carbohydrate (complex) commonly is extracted from barley, corn, rice and or potato.  Common protein powder flavors are: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cinnamon roll and even peach.  Carbohydrate supplements commonly come in grape, orange and tropical fruit.

Within the nutrition industry, it is widely considered best to consume your POST workout supplement within 30 minutes immediately following exhaustive exercise.  That is known as the body’s catabolic window.   Your body is most starving of nutrients during this time.  Protein and carb supplement are fast absorbing and will deliver these nutrients for optimal recovery far more effective and efficient than sitting down and eating a stake and potato.

SO during your POST-workout phase keep your eye on these following terms –

Catabolism.  Avoid this.  This term refers to muscle loss.  Prevent this by consuming high levels of protein and carbs POST-workout.

Anabolism.  This is what your POST-workout shake will promote and produce.  That is the building of new muscle cells.  The protein intake will actually create new protein in your body.  Leaning your muscle and growing it.  Repairing its fibers and tissues.

What is a protein peptide?   These are little protein building blocks.  It is protein that builds new muscle.

Insulin.  This is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood.  Think of insulin as the engine that drives nutrients into muscle.  It is an athletes friend as it drives muscle recovery.

Glucose. This is a component of the carbohydrate.  It is a sugar and an essential energy source for your body.  Glucose turns into glycogen as it is stored in muscle.

Glycogen.   A multibranched polysaccharide of glucose.  These levels need to be restored after workout for full recovery.  This is why carbohydrate is important combined with protein at this stage.  Proper consumption will greatly decrease morning after sourness factor.  You’ll notice a HUGE difference.

How much protein should be consumed POST-workout?   20 grams.  There are varying opinions on this but for a human being weighing 185 lbs, studies show that excess consumption (more than 20 grams) turns to waste.

Note: 20 grams of protein in 3 hr intervals is wise to consume for the building of lean muscle mass and growth.  There are absorption rate differences between whey and casein protein.  Casein is slow digesting and is commonly taken during rest and sleep (ie: before bedtime).  Whey protein, if you are lactose tolerant – should be consumed within 30 minutes of the completion of your workout.  You may also take protein during the day – outside of your workout regime.  3 hr intervals.


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