We are all aware of the importance of protein post workout to upregulate muscle protein synthesis, reduce protein degradation and increase amino acid utilisation, but some may not be aware of the importance and benefits provided by carbohydrates after your training.
Carbohydrates host a whole variety of functions within the human body. First and foremost, they are responsible for supplying energy to the muscular and central nervous system. Secondly, once carbohydrates are digested and converted to glucose through various bodily processes, they are then stored as glycogen within the liver and muscle cells. replenishing depleted stores that have been used within the body during both training and typical daily tasks. Last but not least, if muscle and liver glycogen stores are full, and glucose is not required for immediate energy, the excess glucose may be stored as fat through a process known as lipogenesis.
Throughout the duration of our training sessions, the muscles utilise metabolic fuels such as glucose, fatty acids and amino acids at a much more accelerated rate than when at rest. Leaving our body in a depleted state, resulting in a catabolic environment which is not optimal for those looking to build muscle, furthermore whilst in a catabolic state the body is unable to partake in anabolic processes such as replenishing glycogen or protein synthesising. Ultimately we want to spend as little time possible in this catabolic environment, which is where the importance of post workout carbohydrates along with adequate, fast digesting protein comes into play.
So just how will consuming Post-Workout carbohydrates benefit your overall recovery and muscle growth? Firstly, ingested carbohydrates will work to replenish glycogen stores that have been depleted during training. As a result of ingesting carbohydrates post-workout, Insulin is secreted via the pancreas, which enhances glycogen uptake as this hormone primes the cells ready for glucose uptake. In addition to Insulin, the depleted state your muscles are in after you workout will also accelerate glucose uptake, as muscles require an immediate energy source. Therefore, glycogen replenishment occurs far more quickly than consuming a Post-Workout shake that doesn’t contain carbohydrates. Insulin not only enhances glycogen uptake, but also blunts cortisol, increases amino acid utilisation and allows carbohydrates to shuttle all the nutrients to the muscle tissue at a much more rapid rate, hence leading to better recovery and enhance muscle protein synthesis.
We recommend supplementing with a high glycemic simple carbohydrate such as Creation Supplements DextroPURE, taken in conjunction with a fast digesting whey protein isolate such as Core Nutritionals ISO. It’s also recommended to take your Creatine along with your Post Workout shake to further enhance the uptake and absorption of this Amino Acid. A general rule of thumb is to consume around 30% of your daily carbohydrate intake post-exercise to ensure optimal recovery.