This post is meant for those novice bodybuilders who spent a significant amount of time turning the pages of the bodybuilding books and magazines or browsing through websites to gain some muscle mass. At the end of the day you get to gather some important advices from the pages and forums dictated by professional bodybuilders and athletes, but you miss out the most crucial factor – nutrition.
Yes, post-workout nutrition is an important factor that gradually gets blotted out behind the list of innovative bodybuilding exercises and posters of professionals flexing their huge guns.
If you want to get real big, you need to eat real big and if you want to get real big and faster, you need to eat real big after training.
The Importance Of Post Workout Nutrition
1. Post-Workout Period
The post-workout period or post-workout window as referred by Dr. John Berardi spans for 90 minutes only just after the workout. This period is solely meant for nutrition intake. He clearly points out in his article, ‘The Unlikely Scientist’, that a post-workout window is delineated by 3 crucial functioning inside your body – muscle chemistry exhibiting unfavourable nitrogen balance, reduction of intramuscular glycogen stocks and continuous breakdown of protein fibres in muscles.
2. Restoring Glycogen
Glycogen is a kind of sugar stored in muscles providing energy to the muscle tissues required for contraction. During workout all the stored glycogen get exhausted and after the completion of your training program there is lesser amount of cellular energy left in your body to carry on with your daily life activities. Moreover, the glycogen fills the spaces in between the muscle cells and makes it look much bigger. Hence, in order to restore the glycogen level in the muscles you must consume carbohydrates as a part of your post-workout nutrition.
3. Protein Recovery
Most of the novice bodybuilders are unaware of the facts associated with muscle failure after the completion of a set. You might have often felt the pain in muscles after a rigorous training program with heavy weights and this is solely caused by the microscopic tearing of muscle fibres.
When the proteins in your muscles get burned out, this tearing takes place and your body actively tries to repair them utilizing the dietary protein. This replacement ensures the gain in muscular mass. However, your body do not shuttle raw protein, it is broken down into amino acids before they reach their destination. Therefore, it is the amino acids that are directly responsible for the reconstruction and growth of muscle fibres.
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4. Nitrogen Balance
Apart from the ubiquitous intake of protein and carbohydrates, you also need to restore a positive nitrogen balance to stimulate the reconstruction process. This is not a necessary step and enthusiasts often ignore this part, but if you follow this step you can avoid overtraining, muscle soreness and stagnation that is usually experienced after a rigorous bodybuilding workout. Your body will neutralize the nitrogen balance after some time even if you do not consume the required nutrients within the post-workout window.
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But, if you forcefully neutralize the nitrogen balance within the next 90 minutes it will facilitate the gains and recovery.