The benefits of consuming carbohydrates after a workout
For many people, recovery after workout includes a dose of fast-acting carbohydrates. But how much do You really need carbs to eat after a workout for optimal gains?
I must confess: I love to eat sweets after a workout! If you follow any of my diets, you already know that I recommend eating high-glycemic, super absorbable carbohydrates immediately after your workout.
Except for special low-carb phases, most diets that I have compiled, incorporating doses of carbohydrates post-workout, along with creatine, protein, beta-alanine, carnitine and betaine. As a source of post-workout carbs I prefer glucose, which can be found in such supplements as Post JYM or just in candy.
Lately I received many questions about the importance of the use of carbohydrates after training. Some people doubt the influence of carbohydrate loading after workouts for recovery and growth, while others worry that this procedure will lead to set of fat. If you are wondering how the intake of carbohydrates after exercise affects the results, then this article is for you.
The main reason for eating carbs after a workout – replenishment of muscle glycogen reserves, which you have eaten during class. When you exercise, the main fuel is glycogen in the muscles. Glycogen – this is the form in which the body stores glucose. It consists of long chains of glucose molecules.
Glucose is released from these chains, when it is needed to generate ATP, which is critical for muscle contractions. Studies have shown that the best way to replenish muscle glycogen after exercise – this is to consume high-glycemic (bystrousvaivaemymi) carbohydrates as soon as possible.
Some “experts” say that during weight training is not wasted so much of glycogen to worry about it filling up. I answer: “What? When you spend ANY amount of glycogen in the muscles, you have to worry about his compensation, especially if your goal is muscle growth”.
Studies show that during exercise 6-20 sets, lasting 15-30 minutes, the glycogen stores are reduced by 30-40%. When training 60-90 minutes with little rest between sets and use high-intensity techniques glycogen stores empty of 60-75%.
So do make a load of carbs post-workout will replenish your glycogen stores. Without doing this, you are cheating your muscles and limit recovery. Deferred load carbohydrates only 2 hours reduces the replenishment of glycogen stores by 50%!
And even in this case, some experts argue, claiming that all this doesn’t matter for most trainees, because there is some minimal evidence that regardless of whether you take carbs immediately after a workout or 2 hours after that, the glycogen stores will still be filled for 24 hours. Evidence of this is scarce. But it is safe to say that the fastest way to replenish glycogen – is to take carbs immediately after your workout.
The replenishment of glycogen as quickly as possible after a workout is important for growth. When the accumulation of glycogen in the muscles it pulls water into the cells. This increases the volume of cells and, thus, the fullness of the muscles.
Provided that you are in training have achieved muscles pumping blood (which also increases the amount of fluid in the muscle cells, and hence their volume), rapid replenishment of glycogen levels can help you save an increased amount of muscle cells for a long time. This can be important since there is evidence that a large amount of cells in the muscle itself initiates muscle growth in the long term.
Another effect of taking bystrousvaivaemyh carbs after a workout – is recuperation. Carbohydrates can get you out squeezed, sleepy condition after a brutal workout. Besides, it allows you to meet your temptation to eat something sweet without adverse effects.
Another advantage of consuming simple carbs after a workout is the release of insulin, which they provoke. Since insulin is considered an anabolic hormone, its role in muscle growth is now being actively discussed. Once believed that it is a critical factor in the start of protein synthesis in the muscles and decrease muscle breakdown, but now some studies put that idea to the doubt. But the delivery into the muscles an adequate amount of amino acids seems to be more important.
Only recently the researchers compared the absorption of protein taken post workout separately and in a mixture of protein + carbs. They found that the addition of carbohydrates to protein did not produce significant positive changes in protein synthesis or decreased catabolism.
But insulin is still important immediately after training. It acts on special receptors in the muscle cells. When this happens, it allows the glucose and amino acids and also creatine and carnitine, get into the cells. Studies indicate that creatine and carnitine are highly dependent on insulin to get into cells and have the desired impact.
The use of carbohydrates post-workout glucose (also called dextrose) means that the body will not need to learn it. Glucose can enter the bloodstream almost immediately after exposure, with the greatest possible speed.
Fructose, which is up to 50% of the sugars in most fruits and honey – it is actually a low-glycemic carbohydrate. This form of carbohydrates because of its structure cannot be properly utilized by the body, because is not converted directly into glycogen as glucose. She misses directly into the bloodstream. Instead, it goes to the liver, where it is converted into glucose. Thus, fructose is not a good source of carbohydrates post-workout. Many candies (if not most) made using high fructose corn syrup or sugar. Sugar – it is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, but fructose syrup 55% and more.
Many people are worried that fast carbs after a workout will make them fat. However, the post-workout period – only when it’s almost guaranteed you can be sure that carbohydrates will not be converted into fat. Unless you’re on completely carbohydrate-free diet, do not risk to slow down the pace of his progress, weight gain, avoiding the consumption of carbohydrates after training.
If you are drying, but consume carbs, the last thing you should cut is carbs after a workout. It is better to remove them from other meals, but leave time for post-workout.
Maybe you doubt the wisdom of carbs after a workout due to the fact that some experts claim that it may reduce the levels of HGH and testosterone? Such allegations are of a serious flaw. Why? Because growth hormone and testosterone are reaching their best level during the workout, but once the training is completed, their levels are falling rapidly, and it happens regardless of whether you eat something or not. So eat after a workout and stop worrying about already falling levels of hormones. By the way, a leap of insulin levels (which can lead to a drop in the level of growth hormone) and will cause the consumption of protein, and BCAA.
Here are my specific recommendations on nutrition immediately after your workout:
– take 40g protein – mixtures of whey protein and casein protein to maximize protein synthesis in muscles
– it is advisable to take 5-10 grams of BCAA for increased protein synthesis and raise the peak of insulin. This is especially important if you are not able to take carbohydrate while carbohydrate-free diet
– take 20-60 grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates. The exact number depends on your goals, weight, intensity and duration of exercise. If such a high dose of carbohydrates puts you in a sleepy state, then reduce it to 15-30g, additionally eating foods with low glycemic carbohydrates (15-30 Gy), like fruit, oatmeal or potatoes
– after a workout, it is desirable to have 40 grams a shake and 5-10 grams of BCAAs. This will maintain your anabolism, despite the low content of carbohydrates.