What is the post-workout?
The Post-Workout refers to the time just after the workout. And it is the third period of the so-called Peri-training or Peri-workout which is integrated by:
Post-workout will only be relevant on training or competition days. Adding certain post-workout supplements to our regimen may have an impact on improving our ability to recover, as well as being able to take advantage of the stimulus provided by training.
Why take post-training recovery products?
A compelling reason to eat a product of this type is the efficiency it can impart when it comes to introducing nutrients into our body. When we train we normally cause a deviation of blood flow to the periphery and to the muscles involved during the contraction. If we decide to eat solid foods instead of liquids after training, we will be obliging out stomachs to digest under circumstances that are more difficult than usual, in other words during times when we are not under undue physical stress.
This phenomenon may occur with some people and under such circumstances one must simply wait until the body returns to its regular basal state. If our goal is to boost recovery, promote muscle growth and contribute to better gains, the option of introducing a post-workout supplement should not be overlooked, since this is the way to optimise the provision of nutrients.
We also sometimes hear the argument regarding the quality of nutrients that post-workout supplements are designed to provide those nutrients of greatest benefit for the intended goal, without any other additive.
Another benefit of these products is the time-saving factor and convenience. We know we can get just what we need when we need it most.
Benefits of taking a post-workout supplement
Even though our eating pattern is important throughout the day, post-workout nutrition takes on special importance, given that it can amplify and improve the following areas:
- Performance and muscle recovery
- Reduce DOMS
Whatever our training goal might be, whether it is aesthetics, beating personal records or improving race times, we must always be aware that our goal should be to keep going forward progressively.
In the first case, despite the fact that the emphasis will be on gaining muscle mass (hypertrophy), with an insufficient stimulus our organism will react as it normally would. Which is to say, if we don't apply a new stimulus there will be no new adaptations, such as the generation of new tissues for example. If, on the other hand, the objective is to increase our strength, the type of training we choose will drastically effect the result. Through the principle of strength progression, we will gradually move through phases or mesocycles, with the accompanying gains.
So the benefits provided by a good post-workout product will be linked to achieving an optimal muscular recovery and will therefore help us to take advantage of new stimuli and move us toward our chosen goal, whether it be aethetics, strength gains or reducing race times, as previously mentioned.
It is therefore sensible to always keep in mind the idea of progressive improvements in performance, so that we get better on a continual basis.
Another important point is reduction of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), which is what we have always known as muscle stiffness and appears a short while after exercising, consisting mainly of micro-tears in the fibres, among other physiological processes. Through the appropriate use of supplementation, especially of the quick-absorption variety, it can lead to reduced symptoms of this phenomenon and faster recovery times.
Objectives of post-workout nutrition
As has been demonstrated in studies, the main factors involved in post-workout nutrition are the following:
- Recharging Glycogen
- A positive balance of nitrogen and starting protein synthesis
Training, especially those activities whose energy source is based on the glycogen substrate, produces a partial emptying of the energy reserves in the body, those found in muscle and in the liver. When looking for an optimal recovery, the action of providing nutrients with which to refill the aforementioned reserves, will be one of the top priorities. We should also mention the phenomenon in which glycogen synthesis multiplies within the two hours immediately following the activity, then returning to its normal level after this period. Bearing all this in mind, one should evaluate the required energy intake from carbohydrates during the post-workout period.
As we consume glycogen, the performance of physical efforts brings about a series of physiological changes within our bodies. In particular, the structure of the muscle fibres will be degraded. In such a situation, we will find ourselves with a negative nitrogen balance. This means that we are losing more protein elements than we are providing. To resolve this issue, we will have to add precisely the same material that we are losing: proteins. They provide the unitary elements in post-workout that act to slow down what is known as catabolism (negative balance) and to establish a more appropriate hormonal environment for the synthesis of protein, through a positive nitrogen balance. This in turn promotes optimal muscle recovery.
What type of protein to take after training
Now the question is: what is the best protein to take after training? In response to this we know that we should be looking for a product that will be able to rapidly provide us with those nutrients that we need the most. If we are looking to maximise the effect, we will have to opt for a hydrolysed protein.
This type of product is known for its ultra-fast amino acids delivery, since they are really in the form of peptides (united amino acids), which is in the same form that our digestive systems absorb protein. For this reason, this protein "skips" a step in the digestive chain, which offers us the highest rate of absorption possible.
But whatever the case may be, whenever we take quick-absorption proteins we are helping to bring about rapid post-workout recuperation. We can even prolong the delivery of amino acids if we use a combination of various protein sources with different rates of absorption.
Muscle recovery - types of supplements
Within the range of post-workout and recovery supplements is a type referred to as "all-in-one", wherein the most outstanding and beneficial nutrients are available for use in one product, based on the discretion of the manufacturer. Or we can obtain them separately and combine them to make a formula according to our own needs, which is possible with the HSN Raw Series.
Products that contain proteins, carbohydrates, creatine, amino acids...
A combination of proteins that is undoubtedly one of the best post-workout recovery products. We can find whey, beef, soya, or pea based products which depending on their composition may be concentrates, isolates or even hydrolysates.
They occur in isolation and are available for immediate absorption.
They do the job of glycogen recharging.