When you exercise, you are focused on the series and the repetitions which are linked, you give the maximum because you want to progress, to gain mass, to increase your strength. And as soon as your session is over, you are already thinking about the next one, which will be even better and more intense. But have you ever wondered what actually happens inside the muscles during exercise and how your body reacts to all these stresses?
Let’s start by looking at muscle cells. These are made up of long stringy fibers made up of 80% protein (the most abundant substance in the body after water), which is itself composed of chains of amino acids.
During a strenuous workout, they are damaged, especially in the most stressed areas. The result: a real battlefield littered with torn and degraded fibers. After such an assault, how can the body recover and even ask for more? The answer is found in the saving proteins consumed directly at the end of the session and the repairing elements that they provide to the body. You can easily order Glucosamine and Chondroitin online.
In other words, a large part of our ability to recover depends on the post-workout intake. The nutrients taken at the end of the effort are preferentially guided to different “sites” to repair and strengthen the damaged fibers and renew the energy reserves available in preparation for future training. The body reacts in this way by effectively and intelligently programming the crucial recovery phase. The structural elements of the muscles follow a continuous cycle of destruction/reconstruction which allows them to grow and strengthen.
So, let’s see in more detail what agents the body needs to carry out and optimize the recovery process
Protein - Efficiency:
Protein plays a crucial role because it provides the body with the “building blocks” (amino acids) essential to repair and strengthen the fibers that have been heavily used during exercise. If, after training, you do not consume enough protein to replenish the reserves depleted by a strenuous training, the body will be forced to draw from the already degraded muscle tissue the amino acids it needs, which will further accentuate little more the catabolic context. However, the greater the degradation, the longer the recovery period and the slower the mass gain.
In terms of post-effort protein intake, one of the best choices we can make is to opt for whey protein. Indeed, it is distinguished by its rapid assimilation speed, that it is very quickly brought to the body the essential amino acids to start the recovery process and thus repair and strengthen the muscles.
Different active ingredients have proven effective in post-workout recovery. As you will see, several of them are also part of the performance agents who can be employed before exercise, but they also have a role to play at the end of it.
Glutamine - Effectiveness:
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body: it represents more than 60% of the amino acids in free form in the muscles and more than 20% of all the amino acids in the body. It plays a crucial role in recovery and muscle gains: it effectively helps to delay muscle breakdown resulting from intense training sessions and stimulates protein synthesis.
Glutamine supplementation has also been shown to help fight catabolism (by inhibiting cortisol production), which helps to recover faster between workouts. Glutamine also helps maintain natural anabolism by supporting the natural production of growth hormone. It promotes the preservation of an adequate level of cellular hydration as well as the storage of glycogen inside the muscle fibers. During physical exertion, glutamine stores can quickly run out. Ensuring a contribution at the end of the effort (in anticipation of future sessions) is therefore particularly recommended to derive maximum benefit.
BCAAs - Efficiency:
The BCAA’s are especially important to athletes because they represent a large percentage of amino acids that make up muscle proteins. Since the body is not able to produce them directly, it is necessary to ensure adequate intake through food and supplementation.
BCAAs are used to provide energy to muscles during exercise and they stimulate protein synthesis (the process of creating new fibers). Consumed after weight training, they provide the body with the raw material it needs so that the reaction of an organism subjected to the repeated muscular effort is optimal.
They reduce the damage to the muscles and the time it takes to recover. In other words, BCAAs also lower the level of cortisol, the catabolic hormone par excellence, which inhibits the action of testosterone and accentuates the breakdown of muscle tissue.
This anti-catabolic effect of BCAA protects the muscles.
Creatine - Efficacy:
The only source of energy available to all cells in the body is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). During intense exercise sessions, the consumption of the latter by muscle tissue can be multiplied by 20 in a few seconds. By participating in ATP synthesis, creatine allows muscle tissue to generate more power over a longer period of time. Ensuring a contribution at the end of the effort allows replenishing the reserves for the next training.
Nutrition: the right nutrients at the right time
To speed up recovery, you have to think not only about the composition of the meals but also about their programming. Here is some interesting information:
- Studies suggest that the glycogen lost during a workout can be quickly replaced by a small snack based on complex carbohydrates (75 to 100 g) 30 to 60 minutes after the session. This speeds up recovery while preparing the muscles for the next session.
- Regarding proteins, whose essential role we have specified, it seems that their absorption reaches an optimum level 90 to 120 minutes after the session. During this time, a good quality protein intake, therefore, helps to prevent the breakdown of lean mass to meet the amino acid requirements of muscle cells.
- It is advisable to distribute the daily calorie intake over 5 to 6 nutritional occasions, which amounts to eating a small meal every 3 to 4 hours. The body thus regularly has at its disposal the nutrients it needs, in particular protein and carbohydrates, which makes it possible to guarantee the stability of the level of amino acids and blood sugar.
The ideal is to make three meals based on classic foods (breakfast, lunch, dinner) supplemented by two snacks in the form of supplements at 10h and 16h (the integrated nutritional complexes Iron Works, Iron Max or Iron Cuts are perfect as such), and possibly a protein intake (progressive release preferably) in the evening at bedtime. Pre-workout supplements are also important to improve your efficiency.
Keeping these things in mind, you can get the maximum benefit out of your workout routine. Make sure that you follow these tips and use the best products. Hundreds of studies have shown that supplementation with creatine monohydrate promotes a marked increase in muscle strength and power, as well as an improvement in overall performance. Creatine also helps increase the effect of cell volume.