Fats are broken down in the gym and abs are made in the kitchen.
Building muscles are never easy. It takes the right amount of effort, time and energy. But do you know, all your efforts could do more harm than good if you don’t back it up with the proper nutrition? It hampers all the progress and keeps your body unprepared for further workouts.
As per research, it is important to get the required nutrition during all the three phases of your gym workout routine – Pre-workout, intra-workout, post-workout. These supplements increase the energy, focus, and endurance at the gym and if you ever feel like hitting the hay instead of the gym, these pre-, intra-, post-workout shakes could help you regain your motivation.
For some, the first meal of the day, Breakfast, might be important and for some who could squeeze some gym time in their everyday routine, pre-workout shakes can be as important too.
When to drink pre-workout shakes?
Pre-workout shakes are not necessary, but it would be beneficial to your body without a doubt. The ideal time to have a pre-workout shake is about 30-60 minutes before the workout. The time gap allows your body to digest the nutrition you provided. Ideally, pre-workout shakes should be low in carbohydrates or sugar content to avoid the spiking of insulin in the body as a spiked insulin level could encourage your body to rely on the sugar source for energy instead of fat content. This could keep your fat store safe and secure which is not desirable if losing weight is one of your goals.
Best ingredients for pre-workout shakes:
Just like good ingredients make the best food, the ingredients in pre-workout supplements could boost your endurance level and help you achieve the muscle-packed body. Pre-workout shakes could differ as those which contain Creatine and those which do not. As we are aware from the previous blog post about Creatine , Creatine is stored in the body in small amounts and used rapidly during exercises. It is known to increase physical performance during short-term & high-intensity exercise. Pre-workout shakes that contain Creatine restore the creatine levels in the body and uplift your physical performance. The pre-workout shakes that don’t contain Creatine might contain Caffeine. The Caffeine content increases alertness and concentration during endurance and high-intensity training. BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) could also be used as a pre-workout supplement. It encourages protein synthesis and provides protein for energy production. Beta-alanine, being a non-essential amino acid, provides an acute stimulant response. Hence, it is a good candidate in pre-workout supplements.
Why do you need to have pre-workout shakes?
Tire, sore, spasms are the words you hear in the gym regularly. That is because during exercise the muscle stores deplete rapidly. The main aim of pre-workout supplements is to saturate the muscle stores ahead of the workout and prevent the premature feeling of exhaustion. To explain in other words, it aims at increasing the time to exhaustion and prolongs the depletion.
Feeling completely drained halfway through the workout and want to throw in the towel? Need an extra push during workouts? Then, Intra-workout shakes are your go-to! It supports your endurance, boosts your energy level during the workout and helps you work for longer and stay stronger. But how exactly do intra-workout shakes benefit your body? Here is the answer!
When to drink Intra-workout shakes?
Intra-workout shakes are consumed during workouts. It keeps your body hydrated and also maintains high levels of energy during exercise. Intra-workout shakes could also increase the concentration of amino acids in the bloodstream and boost exercise-induced protein synthesis thereby increasing muscle building.
Best ingredients of Intra-workout shakes:
There are a good number of ingredients that could be added as in the intra-workout shakes. Each of these ingredients could offer different benefits.
- Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA): BCAA boosts endurance power during the workout and helps in muscle recovery post workout.
- L-Arginine: L-Arginine is a precursor of Nitric Oxide and promotes endurance and conditioning. When L-arginine is consumed as an intra-workout shake, they relax the muscles of the wall and thereby relaxes the blood vessels. The lowered blood pressure increases the blood flow to the muscles during a workout. This, in turn, helps in reducing muscle damage, increasing the rate of recovery and providing optimal performance.
- Electrolytes: During the workout, you lose essential nutrients inevitably. Drinking electrolytes in between the workout could be of great help in replenishing those. Electrolytes are also known for their ability to keep the body hydrated.
- Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD): This carbohydrate is perfect to support long, high-volume training sessions.
- Citrulline Malate: It decreases muscle fatigue, increases ATP levels and boosts recovery.
- Beta Alanine: It decreases fatigue and increases your endurance level to the workload.
- Creatine: Increases the power output and benefits your muscles, brain, liver, and bones.
- Glutamine: Improves gut health.
- Essential Amino Acids: Aids in protein synthesis and helps your body to enjoy a plethora of benefits.
- Hydromax Glycerol: Increases the absorption of other ingredients present in the intra-workout shakes.
Why do you need to have intra-workout shakes?
The benefits of having intra-workout shakes are numerous. A few of the important reasons to encourage you to have intra-workout shakes are:
- Increases blood flow to the targeted muscles.
- Decreases muscle breakdown and thereby helps in boosting recovery rate.
- Working out is a catabolic process where your tissues are damaged and muscles are broken down.
- Intra-workout shakes offer the required nutrients and boost the anabolic process as soon as the damage is detected.
- Rigorous physical training could deplete your muscle glycogen stores. As a result, your body gets fatigued trying to save the glycogen level. Intra-workout shakes aids in reducing fatigue.
- Supports training by keeping the body hydrated and maintaining the electrolyte balance.
- Avoids potential muscle-wasting.
- Increases cellular swelling
- Improves focus.
After a serious sweat session, your body will be pretty much running without any fuel. Your body keeps working even though you are lacking the nutrients. It tries to repair and replenish the damaged muscles even long after you left the gym. A post-workout shake, being the source of fluid, carb and protein, makes a good choice in boosting these processes of your body.
When to drink post-workout shakes?
Post-workout shakes should be consumed within 30 minutes to one hour after the exercise. It is because during this period the nutrients could boost the repairing process of your body by being absorbed into the muscles quickly.
Best ingredients in post-workout shakes:
There are various post-workout supplements that are advertised as essential post-workout nutrients. But here is the list of best ingredients in the post-workout shakes that are backed up with the scientific evidence.
- Whey Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. They aid in repairing the damage such as micro tears caused by the training. Whey proteins are recommended due to their ability to get absorbed quickly.
- Carbohydrates: During the workout, the glycogen stores are utilized. But muscle glycogen levels are important for muscle growth. If the glycogen stores are replenished as early as possible after the workout, it pulls the water into the cells and makes the muscle voluminous. High glycemic index carbohydrates such as dextrose and maltodextrin boost insulin levels. This increases the absorption of protein and boosts the rate of recovery.
- L-Glutamine: Adding a dose of L-glutamine to your post-workout shake could speed up the recovery from the muscle damaged caused by the workouts. It will make you better by increasing your ability to build muscles over time.
- BCAA: It prevents muscle breakdown and promotes the building of the muscles by triggering protein synthesis.
- Taurine: It is an effective cell-volumizer which is capable of drawing water and other nutrients into the cell and helps in the recovery and growth of the cell.
Why have post-workout shakes?
All the athletes and bodybuilders obviously burn out all their energy fuels during their rigorous resistance training. In such cases, post-workout shakes come to the rescue. It provides the nutrients to the body to replenish the lost energy stores and also some additional nutrients which hasten the muscle recovery process.
Being aware of the benefits of pre-, intra-, post-workout shakes, it is crystal clear that a bulging body of a bodybuilder or an athletic body of an athlete has its own nutrient needs in each stage of the workout to enjoy different benefits. So, ensure to supply your body with the nutrients at the right time!
“Don’t Forget: Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen, and built in bed.”