Post Work Out Nutrition – The Window Of Opportunity

If you are going to the gym or training at all, you should be paying particular attention to what you eat immediately following your workouts because this is the most important time for muscle recovery. After 40 minutes of intense exercise, the body’s initial response to the introduction of sugar is to replenish muscle glycogen and start protein synthesis for muscle repair and not an increase in fat storage which is the non-exercise response. If you can consume the right combination of sugar and protein in water within 30 minutes of ending your workout, you will capitalize on this tendency.

After reading and trying what the author’s online in the following articles I noticed a dramatic increase in my recovery ability in both the gym and on the bike trails. I highly recommend carbohydrate and protein shakes after every workout.

The Window Of Opportunity
The Window of Opportunity—Layman’s Version (Non-Technical)

Reducing Catabolic Hormones

All body builders have a sworn mortal enemy—cortisol. This hormone acts to breakdown muscle tissue, and creates a catabolic environment, contrary to growth.

The most effective way to decrease these catabolic hormones is:

  • To consume an easily digested carbohydrate
  • Stack it with an easily digested source of protein

Protein Synthesis and Degradation

Skeletal muscle protein synthesis can be defined as the formation of whole muscle proteins, from individual amino acids.

Protein degradation can be defined as the breakdown of proteins, into individual amino acids and peptides.

Muscle growth is ultimately the difference between protein degradation and protein synthesis. Therefore, we want to both minimize protein degradation, and maximize protein synthesis.

Consuming protein is generally responsible for enhancing protein synthesis; while carbohydrates play an intricate role in decreasing protein degradation. The role carbohydrates play in protein synthesis is in debate. However, it appears that when easily digested carbohydrates are accompanied with proteins, the enhanced effect from these nutrients increases muscle growth.