Let’s imagine that today in the gym we finished the best training for arms until now. We are happy because the workout was good, then we will take a shower and go home to rest. After two hours we are rested and then we sit down to eat. Known picture?!
It is true that most of the builders are acting wrong when it comes to nutrition, but the most common mistake is that they overlooked the “Post workout meal” or so the famous “nutritious meal” immediately after the training. It is not only important just to eat to gain muscle mass, it is important to know what to eat, how and when. We can rightly say that this meal is the most important from all meals that we eat throughout the day.
After good and quality training in the gym, our muscles are overworked, the amount of glycogen (blood sugar) is quite reduced which begins catabolism or muscle breakdown. The only way to stop this negative process for us, and to enter into the stage of anabolism (muscle building) is to intake the necessary nutrients into our body that after a hard workout are needed for the body muscles. Studies have shown that the best time to compensate for the lost glycogen is exactly with the Post Workout Meal – the meal immediately after training. This is the best time because it increases and accelerates the process of protein synthesis, the process of reconstruction and building of new muscle fibers.
The sports studies have also shown that the intake of carbohydrates immediately after the training increases the amount of the hormone insulin, which is one of the main hormones responsible for muscle growth. Taking carbohydrates after training raises the level of all of the hormones that are required for building the muscles and improves the positive nitrogen balance. The time after training is also the best time for the absorption of creatine and amino acids (usability then it is far better than any part of the day).
- Let’s see how it should look a quality meal after training:
The first ingredient is water. Our muscles are 80% water. During the workout we lose a large amounts of water from the body by sweating (which protect the body from overheating) and muscle contractions that used the water in the process of building the glycogen energy supply and reduce the operating temperature of the fibers themselves. Many builders does not take seriously rehydration (water intake) during and after the workout.
If we does not consume water during the workout, we can lose 20% of the power and energy that we need for training. By sweating we lose large amounts of water, so our blood become thicken and the heart must increase the pressure pumping, which the thicken blood should reach the veins and tiny capillaries and to those smallest muscle fibers. Need 4 ml of water for every gram of carbohydrate that the body will compensate for the lost glycogen.
Already mentioned how important are the carbohydrates for our body after training. The best sources of carbohydrates are: fruits (banana, berries), vegetables (potatoes, rice), whole grains, oatmeal, pasta, whole wheat products, legumes, low fat yogurt etc… These are the best carbohydrates foods that we can eat like part of our meal after the training, because their absorption is faster and also they rapidly compensate the lost glycogen.
Depending on the speed of our metabolism and the intensity of the completed training, we need to take 1 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of our body weight.
Example: If you have 80 kg (176 pounds) you should take 80 – 120 grams of carbohydrates.
Protein. Nothing without protein, because they are building blocks for the muscle wall. Immediately after training, the body can use and incorporate up to 50% more protein than any other meal. Then the protein synthesis is greatest, so the hungry muscle fibers can quickly absorb and utilize. Best foods that are rich in protein are : fish, soy, milk, chicken, eggs, meat etc..
The last ingredients that we need are vitamins and minerals. In particular this applies to vitamins C and E. They are known as antioxidants (which removes waste substances and toxins that occur in the muscle).
So we concluded that the post workout meal is more important than you thought. We hope that by tomorrow the post workout meal will become your daily habit !