Sunday, September 8, 2013

Whats the deal with post workout drinks?

I'm sure you've seen it: those guys at the gym that are drinking all of those concoctions that you've never even heard of. I've always wondered what they were drinking, and if it actually did anything. WELL, the biology nerd in me decided to investigate one day, so I will share that with you. I won't get into the nitty gritty specifics though. It breaks down to a molecular level of specific things being transported into your muscles - and to be quite frank, comprehending that makes my head hurt.

Post Workout Basics:

Each time we work out, especially strenuous workouts that involve weights, high intensity or excessive amounts of endurance, our body uses glycogen. Again, I wont get into the nitty gritty of what glycogen is and how are muscles use it, but when you hear glycogen think energy. In addition to glycogen being used, our muscles fibers start tearing little by little. The combination of these two leave you feeling extremely fatigued and incredible sore. When people drink a good post workout drink, they not only replace the glycogen used, but they repair their muscles, too. Whether your goal is long, lean muscles, or big, bulky muscles, you still need to make sure your muscles are recovered for proper growth. It'll help give you increased strength and more endurance also.

So, when I feel like this after a workout :

I take this: 

To feel like this:

A few things to keep in mind while taking post workouts are the following:

  • Make sure you take it 15-60 mins after workout. You have a specific window of opportunity tho optimize the effects of the post workout. There is an entire biology lesson I could teach you as to why this is, but for the sake of both of our brains, trust me. ;) 
  • Make sure its LIQUID: Lets think about how things get to your muscles. You eat them, they get digested, and then they go to your muscles. When you drink something, its digested much faster than if its solid. 
  • Make sure its safe. Again, this might result in you doing research of your own, but your health & safety should be your #1 concern when taking products.  Post-workout Recovery is the best and safest out there that I've seen. 
Well, thats the in and outs of post workout supplements. On days like today, when my arms are shaking from muscle fatigue and I spill my powder everywhere, I'm SO thankful to have something that gives me such a speedy recovery.