A Beginner’s Guide To Post WorkOut Supplements
Fitness has become a very integral part of our lives and so to ensure that we get the most out of our workouts many methods have been proposed to enable us to stay effective. One of those ways is through the use of post workout supplements. Simply put, these supplements are a shake made up of a combination of ingredients like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin C, creatine and Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs). Normally, these supplements are used by people actively engaged in sports, weight training or anyone looking to boost their performance.
How Do Post Work Out Supplements Work
During exercise, the protein contained in your body is normally degraded as the muscles engaged experience some micro tears. In order to recover these proteins and rebuild these muscles, the body is left in need of more protein and energy supplies. If no protein is supplied from external sources the body will break down the protein contained in the body to repair the muscles. The post workout shake usually contains proteins which are vital for reversing this process by supplying the body with the amino acids it needs to repair worn out muscles. They also contain carbohydrates which will be broken down into glycogen to replenish the body’s energy source and also play a vital role in the absorption of the proteins and other nutrients. On the other hand, the vitamins will be used to fight free radicals that the body might be exposed to during workouts.
Benefits of Post Workout Supplements
Replenish Energy Stores
To enable you to perform at optimal levels during workouts, your body will deplete most of its energy stores. For this reason, it is very important that you take something immediately after your workout so that you refuel. Now, these supplements are normally beneficial during this period as they will enable you to quickly replenish your energy levels through nutrients like carbohydrates that are broken down into energy.
Less Sore Muscles
Normally during a workout, the muscles that are engaged during the period experience some level of wear and tear. The aftermath of this can be very sore muscles. Especially if a quick recovery process is not initiated through taking some supplements. If the post workout shake is taken within a two hour period they will ensure a process of protein synthesis takes place to enable the quick recovery of the muscles and limit soreness.
Increase in Muscles
If your intention is to solely build lean muscles then these supplements will work wonders for you. They contain protein as one of the core ingredients which when broken down results into amino acids which are essentially the building blocks of muscles. Your body will use these amino acids to build more muscles that can sustain you throughout your workouts.
Repair Damaged Muscles
As observed earlier, working out will make your body experience some wear and tear. Now the protein that comes with the supplements will be broken down into amino acids which the body will use to repair all the damaged muscles. By doing this, they enable you to recover quickly in time for your next work sessions to remain much more effective.
They Help the Body Rehydrate
During workouts, you will get to sweat a lot which will cause your body to dehydrate to a certain extent. These supplements are normally taken in fluid form and so contain water in them. Therefore, they will not only provide your body with vital nutrients but also the water it needs to recover from dehydration through sweating.
Side Effects of Post Work Out Supplements
Most post workout shakes usually contain a product called Whey protein which is normally obtained after milk is curdled and strained. Although this milk extract is rich in protein, it is bad for people who are lactose intolerant. To establish whether you are reacting to it the common symptoms to look out for are stomach bloating, gas and even throwing up.
Spike In Blood Sugar Levels
Most of these supplements are normally sweetened to give them a much better taste. The sweeteners used are normally sugar alcohols and isolated fructose. These sweeteners usually lead to an unusual spike in blood sugar levels which can be quite devastating to people with diabetes. In some cases, they are also known to cause stomach upsets.
The kinds of exercises you intend to do should also inform how much of this supplements you can take otherwise you will end up adding unnecessary weight. Note that the ingredients contained in these supplements usually come with additional calories and so if you are taking more than is necessary you will end up piling unnecessary fat in your body.
What to Look Out for In a Post Work Out Shake
The major thing that you should look out for in your post work out shakes is the ingredients. There are so many ingredients that you can work with but the major ones are;
The protein source you use for your post work out shake should preferably be a Whey Isolate since it is quickly absorbed into the body for use in the muscle rebuilding process.
For your carbohydrate source always use Dextrose. It is normally absorbed quickly into the body and will be vital for replenishing your body’s energy levels for optimal recovery and performance. It will also play a big role in speeding up the absorption of protein and other nutrients. Or you can use a weight gainer that combines protein, carbohydrates and sometimes even creatine.
The Creatine is vital for increasing muscle size and boosting muscle mass and power. It is essential for people who are looking forward to cutting fat and building muscle.
BCAA( Branched Chain Amino Acids)
The common ones are leucine and valine and they are usually very critical for stimulating the body to synthesize muscles for quick growth.
Their inclusion in any shake is vital as they are key in protecting the body against free radicals that you might be exposed to during your work outs.
How to make Post Work Out Shake
Note you can mix the above-mentioned ingredients in different combinations to achieve an ideal post workout shake for you. This is an example of how to make a post work out shake using three ingredients; Protein, Creatine, and Carbohydrates.
- First, scoop 50 grams of your Whey Isolate and add to a container.
- Secondly, add 5 grams of Creatine in the same container.
- Lastly add between 50 -70 grams of a carbohydrate source, preferably Dextrose, into the mixture
- Add this mixture to the water in a shaker and shake until you have a smooth mixture.
- To derive much benefit from the post workout shake, make sure you take it within the window period which is within 30 minutes-1 hour after your workout. Research has shown doing this will ensure that the ingredients are much more effective.
It is no doubt that Post workout supplements are very beneficial for your workout plan. However, there are so many products in the market that promise you extraordinary results which might not be realistic. in actual sense, they might even be harmful to your health.
Therefore, you need to ensure that before you purchase any product you do some background research to establish whether its claims are both factual and proven.