Post Workout Supplements – No Time Better than Immediately Following Your Workout!
If you were only going to take a supplement one time, the time to do it would be immediately following your workout. This is absolutely the most critical time to deliver recovery nutrients to your muscles.
Post workout supplement are the most important in any bodybuilder’s arsenal because after you work out your body enters into an ‘anabolic window’.
This is because your body is starved for energy and your muscles are trying to suck up all the nutrients they can get. So, the best answer is to feed them while they’re in the state so that they make the most efficient use of the nutrients.
This is why protein is such an important component to your post-workout supplement. More than anything else, your muscles need protein. When you work out in the gym, your muscle tissue is actually getting ripped and destroyed.
Protein builds them back up again bigger and stronger than before, and there is no time when it does that better than immediately following your workout.
Also, make sure that you’re getting a rapidly absorbed protein to ensure that your body uses as much of it as possible during the anabolic window.
Whey is the usual choice here, and of the different forms you can find whey proteins in, hydrolyzed whey protein is the fastest because it’s broken into shorter amino chains (this is what is known as ‘pre-digested’).
Another reason that post-workout supplements are so important is that your body has depleted its stores of energy (most importantly, glucose and glycogen). When your body runs out of that energy, it becomes catabolic and starts using muscle for energy.
In order to prevent this, you need to quickly deliver carbohydrates with a high glycemic index like dextrose or maltodextrin.
By doing this not only are you preventing the catabolism and re-energizing your muscle, but you’ll also be converting your body into an anabolic state because the carbohydrate will cause an insulin spike.
Additionally, when you work out hard your body can get worn down and leave you vulnerable to illness. Nothing is more of an impediment to packing on lean muscle and making major gains in the gym than being side-lined by sickness.
For that reason, it’s important to quickly give your body a little immune boost with something like glutamine or taurine as well as vitamins. This will help to negate any detrimental effects from giving it your all in the gym.
Finally, while creatine is generally considered to be most effective pre-workout, some creatine in your post-workout supplement can also be a major boon to recovery. It helps to re-hydrate and energize those muscles, as well as to restore them to optimal creatine saturation.
While not essential to a good post-workout supplement if you’re getting it elsewhere, if you were going to only be taking a post-workout supplement you’d definitely want to include creatine.
So if you’re looking for a solid post workout supplement, make sure that it at least includes protein (with lots of BCAAs), carbohydrates, vitamins and other immune boosters.