What you consume and when you consume it is important if you workout. In fact, your body handles nutrients differently based on what your body is doing. So, what you eat before, during or after your workout is important, too. And by consuming the right nutrients after your workouts, you can replenish energy stores, increase muscle mass, and cut recovery time. Basically, you can maximize the time you spend in the gym by supplementing your nutrition with a post-workout supplement. But, not all supplements are created equal. To learn what kinds of benefits you should look for, keep reading below!
Biggest Benefits of Using a Post-Workout Supplement
There are a lot of potential benefits to using post-workout supplements, but we’ve tried to narrow it down to the biggest ones. After we list our favorites, we’ll do a quick section on how you can find your new favorite. Let’s get started!
Replenish Energy Stores
When you work out, you use fuel and energy stores. Although you’re building muscles and developing a stronger, more powerful body, the short term requires some repair. Post-workout supplements help to replenish the fuel you use daily by providing carbohydrates and other nutrients that your body craves. Plus, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a 2-hour window of opportunity immediately after your work out. Meaning, you must replenish nutrients within 2 hours or less, or else your body will not repair and replenish at the optimal levels. So, you may experience more soreness and pain in the days following.
Increase Muscle Size
The most obvious reason for taking a post-workout supplement is to build solid, lean muscle. Just like refueling, we must maximize our workout efforts with the ingredients in post-workout supplements. And you can get the biggest possible muscles when proper protein balance is established. As you lift weights, your muscles are actually experiencing tiny little tears in the tissue. The healing of this tissue adds to the size of your muscles. But, without enough protein and nutrition, your muscles have trouble repairing all the way. And this dramatically reduces the effects of working out. Taking a post-workout supplement truly gives you an advantageous edge to your training.
Repair Damage Caused By Working Out
The most important reason why we recommend post-workout supplements is for the recovery factor. As I explained above, working muscles creates small tears in the tissues. After a particularly intense workout, you may notice lots of soreness and even pain the day or two after. This is because your muscles didn’t receive the proper nutrition after working out within that 2-hour window of opportunity. And with a good post-workout supplement, you’ll notice your muscles feel good enough to get back to the gym quicker.
How To Choose A Good Post-Workout Supplement?
In order to get the best results from your workouts, it’s recommended that you eat a healthy, balanced meal made with whole foods. But it’s not always ideal to eat right after working out. For one, most people just aren’t that hungry immediately after. Plus, meal prep is time consuming, and working out typically leaves you feeling tired. Not to mention, meals take longer to digest, and you want this nutrition to be available as soon as possible.
For the most part, there are just two components that create a great post-workout supplement. The first is a good source of protein to aid in protein synthesis. Since your objective is to build muscle when you work out, it’s definitely important to make sure your supplement has protein. Next, you need ample carbohydrates to refuel your energy stores. Other nutrients are also great, as working out has other effects on your body and mind. If you truly want to optimize your workouts and get bigger quicker, choose a post-workout supplement with these qualities.