In the off season, one of the most important aspects of making continual gains is utilizing the the post workout window period. Perhaps taking advantage of this “window” is the most important part off the off-season phase in the quest to make continual gains, yet very often this time post workout is not utilized to the fullest.
After an intense weight training session, its all about recovery, without proper recovery from training one is already behind the 8 ball in terms of being able to train effectively the next day, let alone to reap the benefits of the workout that was just completed. Speaking in general terms, the first step in recovery is the delivery of BCAA to the muscles, along with getting glucose delivered to the muscles to aid in the repair of damaged muscle, and get the recovery/growing process initiated. A lot of the success of this window period is also dictated by how the meal or meals are put together PRE workout (this also has an influence on INTRA workout as well) this topic will inevitably be discussed in an article in the future.
POST TRAINING…In this article we will look at different scenarios and aspects of application, being that people are different in tolerance to and sensitivity to carbs (or lack there of) how muscular and metabolically efficient the individual is (or not) if the individual is carrying a lot of fat at this stage, or is the individual lean enough to handle a higher carb post workout protocol ect
To kick off the recovery process, getting a rich source of BCAA in the system in the form of whey isolate is pretty much a given. Hydrolyzed whey with its rapid absorption via reduced particle size basically renders all other whey isolates obsolete in comparison. (hydrolyzed whey is also extremely beneficial to those individuals who are lactose intolerant) To deliver BCAA to the muscles in in the synthetic insulin free environment we need to spike insulin from the pancreas by implementing a high glycemic carb at the time of whey isolate. Using synthetic insulin obviously dramatically changes the carb structure and timing, this will be discussed in a future article. Using a high glycemic drink in the form of vitargo or waxy maize is of course the norm and is an effective way of spiking insulin from the pancreas. Keep in mind the that the hormone insulin (whether its synthetic insulin, or insulin spike from the pancreas, it the most important anabolic hormone we have in the post workout window for delivery of BCAA and glycogen to the muscles. Insulin is a delivery hormone, and is needed to shuttle BCAA and glycogen to the muscle.
Bodybuilders who are lean to begin with, or who have good sensitivity to carbs, or who are very large, and/or all the above can usually handle a higher level of high glycemic carbs post workout. 50, 75 or even as high as 100 grams of carbs from vitaro,waxy maize, or cream of rice can be used at this point. That being said, there are individuals who do not have great insulin sensitivity and cant process high glycemic carbs well with more lipid storage as apposed to glycogen storage and who because of the above mentioned situation are storing more body fat should stay away from a bigh high glycemic rush post workout. In this situation, when the person does not work well with carbs like this, they are better off getting the whey isolate in, then very quickly go into the post workout meal to get a slow but steady pancreatic reaction to avoid storing of fat. Just because nutrients at a higher caloric profile can be absorbed post training, it does not change the persons insulin sensitivity to carbs. Over time with the right food patterns, insulin sensitivity can improve in these individuals , and then higher glycemic carbs can be more effectively utilized.
Equally just as important as the post workout carb/protein drink, and in many ways more important is the post workout meal.
The post workout window should be viewed as 2 different segments, the spike for delivery and recovery being the first, and the post workout meal being the 2nd Because we are working with a time period, the post workout meal should be eaten within 30 to 40 minutes post shake. Now that the message from the BCAA has been delivered to the muscle, now its about taking advantage of the metabolic efficiency from the intense weight training and consuming a caloric structure that is higher than other meals. This is and should be the highest calorie meal, a lot of people just have a normal meal after the drink, not taking advantage of the fact that the assimilation rates for food absorption is at its highest.
Take advantage of being able to utilize more more grams of protein in this meal compared to other meals. Try making your normal servings of protein a few oz higher, or even more in some cases. This is a great time to utilize a larger serving of red meat for example Even though there was a high glycemic carb post workout, you still want to take advantage of being able to continue the high glycemic carbs, this is a good time to utilize white rice, white potato, whole wheat pasta ect, and again, if the individual is not carb sensitive, then even at this meal, they should stay away from high glycemic source and work with large serving of a lower glycemic source, like yam or brown rice, the benefit here is that there can be good glycogen replacement from a large serving of carbs, but being low glycemic there wont be rapid glucose shuttled to lipid cells as would be in the high glycemic situation for these people with poor sensitivity. The post workout window with insulin, and more talk about different types of carbs that can be used in place of vitargo, and more talk about post workout eating will be discussed again in future articles, in the mean time, bump up your calories post workout, take advantage of the post workout window!