The ideal time for simple carbs
A pre-workout meal that’s equal parts simple, fast-digesting carbs and fast-digesting protein will help you fuel your muscles more efficiently and ensure a killer performance simply because it can be easily and quickly digested, thereby ensuring that its nutrients are readily available to fuel your workout. To make optimal use of its growth-encouraging properties, the pre-workout meal should be consumed around 30-60 minutes before the start of the workout.
On the other hand, simple carbs also need to be a part of your post-workout meal which should be consumed within half an hour after your workout. When you’re done for the day, your muscles’ depleted glycogen reserves scream to be replenished with this precious nutrient, and fast-digesting carbs can refill them more effectively than complex carbs. So eating a post-workout meal mostly made up of simple carbs or drinking the right mix of fast-digesting protein and fast-digesting carbs will prevent catabolism, kick start anabolism and support better recovery. But 1.5-2 hours after that, you should again opt for a meal consisting of complex carbs.
Therefore, as scientific research has confirmed, the only time you should prioritize fast-digesting carb consumption is before and after a workout. In a similar way, including fast-digesting protein into these two meals is also an optimal choice when it comes to enhancing muscle building results.
Here are some nutrients that can help you better feed your muscles before and after a workout:
#1. Whey protein isolate
Research has shown that whey protein isolate, which is a low-fat, low-carb and fast-absorbing source of protein, leads to superior gains in muscle mass and strength and causes less fat storage than other types of whey protein.
Studies have repeatedly reported that creatine supplementation helps promote anabolism by increasing protein synthesis and anabolic hormone production, while also providing higher energy levels that can support a long and intense workout.
Over 61% of skeletal muscle consists of glutamine, an α-amino acid that’s used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Glutamine is produced in the muscles and distributed by the blood to the organs that need it. Since heavy training often depletes glutamine reserves, glutamine supplementation can boost muscle growth and prevent catabolism, especially after the workout.
Caffeine is usually taken before a workout, when its ability to boost metabolism by mobilizing fat cells into the bloodstream can be used to significantly increase the effectiveness of the workout. More specifically, pre-workout caffeine supplementation will help you burn more fat, improve muscle strength and endurance and reduce muscle soreness.
#5. Sugar, dextrose and maltodextrin
These three simple carbohydrates are quickly digested and can provide a readily available source of energy for your working muscles, and are also guilty of spiking insulin levels, so make sure to put them on the top of your pre-workout nutrient list.
If implemented consistently, strategic pre- and post-workout supplementation will substantially increase the results of your training efforts. On the other hand, without paying enough attention to optimal nutrition, your body’s response to the training program, even if it’s the best one in the world, will leave a lot to be desired.