Progress depends on your nutrition. Supplementing with vital nutrients post-workout is important for optimal recovery and muscle growth. You can do squat rack workouts 3 times a week, but if your diet and post-workout nutrition routine aren’t optimized for optimal fitness and performance enhancement, you risk losing track of the gains you were hoping to gain. We’ll discuss the best recovery drinks and what ingredients to include in your post-workout nutritional routine to build and push you closer to your desired body, physique, and athletic goals.
An important aspect for any athlete or any individual looking to improve muscle hypertrophy, strength, or body composition is what to eat after a workout, otherwise known as post-workout nutrition. Post-workout nutrition is important to replenish the nutrients you expend while training.
When your body is exercising vigorously, your breathing becomes faster and your body begins to deliver more oxygen to the muscles you are working on. The body prefers to use aerobic methods to generate most of its energy, which is oxygen. However, when your body cannot provide enough oxygen to produce energy for activities such as lifting weights, your muscles produce energy without oxygen.
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This energy comes from a process called glycolysis, in which glucose is broken down into pyruvate and energy is released for ATP resynthesis. In the absence of oxygen, the enzyme pyruvate converts to a substance called lactic acid, which breaks down glucose for more energy.
Ingredients that are ingested immediately after a workout are critical to several biological processes that promote the muscle recovery and muscle growth process.
Optimal Post-Workout Nutrition Is Essential to Helping Your Body
- Glycogen resynthesis to replenish energy reserves
- Initiates muscle protein synthesis, which is what builds muscle mass and inhibits muscle breakdown
- Replenishes electrolytes for optimal hydration and muscle contraction
Nutrient-dense carbohydrates, also known as complex carbohydrates, replenish energy stores and quickly stimulate muscle protein synthesis during muscle building.
This macronutrient is a bit tricky. Carbohydrates are the main fuel source in energy production. They support the high energy demands during prolonged endurance activities and moderate exercise.However, there is often a major disconnect between the two What Carbs are best for post workout and For whom.
Most carbohydrate supplements and post-workout drinks are made with sugar or the sugar-based substrate maltodextrin or dextrose. These types of post-workout drinks can help replenish energy production and aid in the muscle rebuilding process, especially for elite and endurance athletes.most consumers or fitness enthusiasts don’t need or benefit from From carbohydrate supplements based on maltodextrin. If body composition is important, I would also highly recommend staying away from these types of post workout drinks as they do have a lot of sugar and calories.
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Complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, yams, and oats, release glucose and insulin more slowly, resulting in longer-lasting energy and better workout recovery. Simple carbohydrates like sugar sweep glycogen into your system and spike energy levels before crashing and leading to unwanted body fat gain.
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The best post workout drinks also contain protein. Protein is responsible for initiating muscle protein synthesis, increasing lean muscle mass, improving body composition, and optimizing your workout recovery. In its simplest form, protein consists of essential amino acids (EAAs), which provide key biological value by inhibiting muscle protein breakdown and accelerating the muscle recovery process. Adding more protein to your diet will help build more lean muscle mass while maintaining the muscle mass you already have.
Research shows that combining nutrient-dense carbohydrates and protein yields the greatest performance benefits and post-workout optimization (R).
Post-workout drinks that contain essential amino acids (EAA) are also valuable in binding carbohydrates to kick-start muscle protein synthesis. Ingestion of protein will have the same effect as EAAs.
A great post workout recovery drink from a macronutrient standpoint – chocolate milk. If you want to add sports nutrition ingredients, further optimized with carbohydrates and protein, Swolverine’s POST is the way to go. Even better, mix POST with chocolate milk.
Recommended Products POST (Chocolate PB) or Whey Protein Isolate (Honey Cinnamon PB, Chocolate, Vanilla or Mint Chocolate Chip)
Coconut water is one of the best post-workout drinks, rich in electrolytes, sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as valuable micronutrients. Studies show that coconut water hydrates your body better after a workout than drinking water alone (R).
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Exercising can lead to fluid loss, at least for those who actually sweat while training. During a typical workout, you can lose 2-6% of your body water through sweat alone. Loss of water and electrolytes, combined with failure to replace them, affects recovery time, oxygen levels and nutrient delivery, leading to muscle wasting and poor removal of waste products from the blood. Coconut water can help replenish important electrolytes and hydrate your body for better recovery and performance.
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Pomegranates are rich in vitamins, essential minerals and polyphenols. As one of the most nutrient-dense fruits in the entire fruit ecosystem, studies have shown that pomegranate may benefit a variety of training regimens due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory capabilities and nitrate content. Nitrates stimulate the release of nitric oxide, which promotes the direct uptake of oxygen, blood and nutrients into muscle tissue, resulting in faster post-workout recovery time, slower muscle fatigue and increased strength.
Substantial evidence examining the effects of pomegranates on athletic performance suggests that pomegranates have the potential to enhance endurance, strength performance, and improve post-workout recovery by conferring antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as improving cardiovascular responses during and after exercise (R).
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Pineapple contains a powerful group of digestive enzymes for post-workout recovery and reducing muscle damage called bromelain. Bromelain is rich in proteolytic enzymes, or proteases, that help metabolize proteins into amino acids. Once protein is broken down, it is more easily absorbed. (This is the exact reason Swolverine adds protease and papain to our Whey Protein Isolate.)
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Research shows that bromelain can improve digestive health by relieving and enhancing digestion. Bromelain contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can enhance and optimize post-workout recovery by reducing inflammation, helping to improve joint pain, swelling and mobility.
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Post-workout recovery is a key component in helping you achieve your health and fitness goals. Glycogen, electrolytes, and protein intake immediately after exercise will help increase muscle mass and strength, and improve muscle soreness and recovery time. The best post-workout recovery drinks will contain carbohydrates, protein, and antioxidant-rich fruits and ingredients like beets, pomegranates, and/or tart cherries, along with natural electrolytes from coconut water and pink Himalayan salt.
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