Post-workout is a crucial time for you to reload your muscles with important nutrients lost during intense workouts. Replenishing immediately after workouts will help switch your body from a catabolic (muscle breakdown) state, into an anabolic (muscle building) state. Boost recovery and gain more lean muscle with these four post-workout supplements.
First, is whey protein. You need a high quality whey protein that contains amino acids that the body requires for muscle protein synthesis. Whey protein breaks down very quick, pushing its amino acids into the bloodstream to replenish your muscles, reducing protein breakdown, which stimulates muscle repair and growth. Take 35-45 grams of whey protein immediately after training.
Second, is creatine. In simple form, creatine supplies energy to your muscles for explosive movements. Creatine is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and travels to the body’s muscles through the blood stream. Once it reaches the muscles it is converted into creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is used to recharge the muscles main energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). During intense exercise your ATP levels are reduced. Supplementing with creatine after exercise replenishes these levels of ATP.
Creatine supplementation fills muscle cells with water, which ignites an anabolic environment within the muscle. This volumization of muscle cells not only increases strength, but leads to overall increase in lean muscle mass and recovery time. Take 3-5 grams of creatine (I recommend creatine monohydrate for economic purposes) immediately after training with your post-workout shake.
Third, is BCAA’s. BCAA’s (amino acids) are the essential aminos leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three key amino acids make up about 1/3 of the muscle tissue in your body.
BCAA’s offer many different benefits, such as muscle growth, delay in onset of muscle soreness, increase in energy and blunting a chemical known as cortisol. Intense exercise causes a rise in cortisol, which inhibits testosterone, causing muscle protein breakdown. BCAA’s launch your body from a catabolic state to an anabolic state, optimizing muscle tissue repair. Take 5-10 grams of BCAA’s immediately after training with your post-workout shake.
Fourth, is a carbohydrate powder. There are several types of carb powders on the market, including pure dextrose, pure maltodextrin powder and Vitargo. All of the above are great post-workout choices with Vitargo leading the way.
Dextrose is glucose, the simplest carb. This is exactly what your body needs, because it does not need to be broken down for your body to utilize it. Maltodextrin is a complex carb usually produced from corn or potato starch. Even though it is a complex carb its chemical structure is made up so that it can be broken down easily. This form is digested and absorbed very quickly to help you refuel after intense workouts.
Vitargo is a patented complex carb derived from corn that digests 80% faster than dextrose and loads muscle glycogen faster than any other carbohydrate. After a hard workout, your body is severely depleted of glycogen and glucose. Your muscles use glycogen and glucose for energy. Once these levels are depleted your body secretes a hormone called cortisol, which will eat up muscle tissue if not counter-balanced. This is where your post-workout carb powder will cause an insulin spike, restoring you glycogen levels, putting your body back into an anabolic state and primed for muscle growth. Take 60-80 grams of carbohydrate powder immediately after training with post-workout shake.
Add these four supplements to your post-workout shake for optimum strength, muscle growth, and recovery. I also recommend adding a multi-vitamin to your daily routine, as this will supplement any mineral deficiencies your diet is not providing.
Drink this post-workout shake on a consistent basis with intense workouts and watch your muscles reap the benefits:
- 35-45 grams of whey protein
- 3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate
- 5-10 grams of BCAA’s (if not capsules)
- 60-80 grams of Vitargo
Shake well in a blender bottle and grow!
Your post work-out protein shakes should at least include the above mentioned supplements for optimum growth. You should also follow a basic structured workout program and switch it up every 4-6 week for improved muscle growth.