Food after exercise

By | February 19, 2019

The goal of bodybuilding is muscle hypertrophy, which is based on anabolic processes. Anabolism is the process of restoring, strengthening and growing the muscle fibers of an athlete after hard training. However, anabolism is not always the dominant process in the body of an athlete. During heavy training, when the muscle fibers are destroyed under the influence of large loads, there are opposite – catabolic – processes.

If, after a hard workout, the body does not provide the nutrients necessary for recovery, catabolism will continue and lead to undesirable consequences. To do this, you need to close the so-called protein-carbohydrate or anabolic window in time and with high quality. The quality and composition of food depends on how quickly the body renews its energy resources and the recovery and growth of muscle fibers begins.

What the body needs after exercise

Immediately after a workout, the body needs carbohydrate foods to restore glycogen stores in muscle fibers and the liver. 20-30 minutes after a workout is the only time when food with a high glymemic index – sweets – is quickly absorbed without leading to the deposition of fat cells. In this case, the sweet on the contrary – is good for the body, because it raises the level of insulin – a hormone that has not only anabolic, but also anti-catabolic properties.

Also immediately after exercise you need to provide the body with enough protein. Since protein oxidation occurs within 1-2 hours, it makes sense to take amino acids and BCAA immediately after exercise. These elements do not require reprocessing and are absorbed almost immediately after administration and transported to the muscles. Rapid satisfaction of the body’s need for amino acids also contributes to the termination of catabolic processes in the muscles and contribute to the start of recovery.

It is not recommended to use after training fatty foods, because it inhibits the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates. It is also not recommended to use after class foods containing caffeine and read stimulants – coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate. Caffeine interferes with the active work of insulin, because of which glycogen loading into the muscles and liver is slowed down.


Depending on the goals of the person in a certain period of time, nutrition after exercise may vary. When losing weight, drying or gaining muscle mass, you should stick to the recommended dietary habits.

Weight gain

In gaining muscle mass, one should be guided by all the recommendations listed above: it is necessary to provide the body with enough proteins and carbohydrates to prevent catabolic processes and start recovery.

Drying and slimming

Both diets have the same goal – getting rid of body fat. Since after exercise the body spends most of the energy stored in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver, these reserves are resumed after the first carbohydrate intake. If you do not give the body the opportunity to fill the glycogen depot, it will begin to use its own fat cells as an energy source. This is quite consistent with the goal.

After training, drying can be and even necessary, but it should be protein foods and vegetables. You can also take additional amino acids and BCAA. Fatty food is also not recommended.

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