Recover, replenish and restore your muscles post-workout - Direct Nutrition

Recover, replenish and restore your muscles post-workout

Posted on August 11, 2015 by Ross McManus | 0 comments

Post Workout Restore and Replenish

During times where your physical activity levels are high, protein supplementation can help to increase rates of muscle recovery and maintain muscle mass. Muscle recovery can be affected by many factors such as; lack of sleep, compromised immune system, pre and post workout nutrition and stress. 

Taking a closer look at nutrition, it is important to ensure you choose a post workout formula to replenish your nutrients after exercise. The Elite Series Post Workout formula contains the nutrition your muscles desire. This includes; a Phase release carbohydrate blend, vital flex-blend (Collagen, Glucosamine and Vitamin C), glutamine complex, Creatine complex and BCAA blend.

Elite Series Post Workout is primarily based on a Van Loon study, which observed that protein can potentially elevate insulin levels. The significance of this is, usually carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin levels, and insulin plays an anabolic role in the body (this means it builds muscle!). However, protein also causes spikes in insulin, making building muscle achievable without the additional calories you would gain from the ingestion of carbohydrates.  

Secondly, when the muscles are stimulated through exercise it is thought the muscle fibres become torn and inflamed, this process is believed to be part of the muscle growth process and considered necessary in order to achieve muscle gains. However, this reaction can cause sore painful muscles and lead to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS); this is when muscle pain stiffness or soreness is experienced 24-48 hours post exercise.  Taking a post workout Protein supplement has been observed to help reduce the time of the dreaded DOMS caused by the body’s inflammatory response.

Nutrient uptake (especially glucose from carbohydrates and amino acids from proteins) is highest thirty minutes after a workout. What this means is the rate of absorption nutrients increases after exercise due to the body’s nutrient transport and storage systems working at their peak. At this point, carbohydrates are also required to spike insulin secretion, reduce levels of the stress chemical cortisol and replenish muscle glycogen stores (glycogen the form energy is stored as). 

According to research, muscle recovery is increased with protein and carbohydrate supplementation. It is recommended to consume protein immediately after exercise, as this is deemed the most metabolically active period.  Generally, the next meal should be consumed 1-2 hours after exercise.

In order to work out how much carbohydrate and protein your body requires daily the following calculations can be applied:

Protein intake =

= Weight (Kg) x Protein per day (g)*

*(0.8-1.5/2g depending on activity levels, 0.8 = sedentary individual, 2 = extremely active).

Carbohydrate intake =

Weight (Kg) x Carbs (g)*

*the intake of carbs varies much more than protein intake, typically intake is in between 5-7g/day however can increase with exercise to 10g)

What Is ‘Good Nutrition’ Post Workout?

Fitness adaptations take place post training, therefore ensuring you provide your body with the correct nutrition is extremely important. The following pieces of advice can help maximise recovery rates and improve performance:-

BCAAs are amino acids metabolised in muscle making them important for growth and repair of muscles. It is also believed BCAA’s are used as a fuel for muscles; this is particularly beneficial for endurance athletes as BCAAs can help to preserve muscle glycogen.

Vitamin C the anti-oxidant action can help to reduce free radical damage and toxins produced following exercise, resulting in cellular damage and inflammation. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in collagen production and maintaining structural integrity of blood vessels and muscle fibres.

ZMA is a highly bioavailable form of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6. It is thought ZMA can help increase muscle growth, tone, recovery, assist in normal functioning of the nervous system and help prevent muscle cramp.

Whey and Casein Protein are considered to be the ideal supplements during the training period. Whey is one of the most bioavailable proteins available. With a fast absorption rate whey has the best track record as the ideal recovery drink during the precious thirty minute window of nutrient uptake post workout. Casein protein although a slow digesting protein, is the perfect bedtime supplement and works to repair muscles overnight.

Glutamine is thought to help promote the anabolic state to buffer lactic acid build-up and benefit digestion.

Please note if you have any existing or suspected medical conditions, consult your healthcare practitioner before use of any supplements.    


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