Post-workout carbohydrate intake

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In this article, we deal a bit with supplements again. There are countless questions submitted to shop.builder regarding certain products - mostly regarding proteins, weight gainers and carbohydrates. Based on these questions, it seems that many people are unaware of what a post-workout shake should consist of and why.

The role of post-workout carbohydrate intake

There are some who are not aware of the role of proteins, while others are afraid of carbohydrates because they fear fattening. The truth is that both of them are essential after a workout. Most people are unaware of the importance and role of carbohydrates. Many of them only drink a protein shake after a workout because they are trying to get ripped or simply afraid of fattening. However, it should be pinpointed: the omission of carbohydrates from your post-workout shake is a huge mistake. During workout, the glycogen stores (glycogen is the glucose stored in muscles) of the body get exhausted and if you do not replace them, your body solves it itself at the expense of your protein input or - even worse - by degrading amino acids in your muscles. So, the omission of carbohydrates from your post-workout shake can seriously hinder your development, and some of the protein consumed after the workout gets "wasted”. In addition, fattening is primarily influenced by your diet and not by your post-workout shake.

It is important to understand that after an intense workout, simple, fast-digesting carbohydrates will NOT cause fattening (consumed in a reasonable amount, of course). Carbohydrates consumed after workout have their place and task, and if their quantity is set properly, they will only be spent on the replenishment of glycogen stores. In addition, by increasing your insulin level, other nutrients (proteins, creatine, extra amino acids, etc.) of your shake can reach their destination much easier.

How much carbohydrates do I need after a workout?

This is an eternal question. It can be calculated by using a simple method, but it is important that this amount may differ depending on people’s individual needs, and the formula is primarily proper for gaining weight.

Those who don’t like Maths should jump to the following paragraph now.

Take your body weight and extract your body fat from it. It is clear that not everyone is aware of the latter - basically, an estimated value is appropriate, too. For example, in case of a 100kg athlete with 15% body fat, the lean body mass will be 100 - 15 = 85kg. You should multiply this number by two: that is the amount of carbohydrates you will need in the “window of opportunity”, that is: in the 2 hours following the workout. This is the time when your body needs fast nutrient supply the most. In this period, it absorbs everything like a sponge. You should make use of it. Our 100kg athlete will need 170g of carbohydrates within 2 hours after the workout. A part of this should be in the shake. The easiest thing to do is to divide the amount of carbohydrates into two halves, so, after your workout, you should add 80-85g of carbohydrates to your shake, and your post-workout meal should include the same amount of carbohydrates (about 125g of rice contains this many carbohydrates). Another, more realistic example for beginners: a 70kg athlete with 15% body fat needs to consume 70 - 10,5 = 59,5 x 2 = 119g of carbohydrates within 2 hours after the workout. So, about 60g of carbohydrates should be added to your post-workout shake and the same amount to your post-workout meal.

0,9 kg 
1 kg 

"I don’t know how much my body fat is and I don’t even want to mess with counting that”

Those who are not aware of their body fat percentage but are not obese and/or not prone to fattening should multiply their own weight by two, and take that many grams of carbohydrates within 2 hours after the workout (note: within 2 hours, so NOT all of these goes into the shake, but one half into it and the other into the following meal). However, those who are prone to fattening should try to calculate their needs based on the above formula.

In case of a diet, the amount is obviously smaller, since your carbohydrate intake per day may be lower, but even in this case, 30g of fast-digesting carbohydrates prove useful, unless you prone to fattening easily. Only in this case it is advisable to replace carbohydrates with glutamine after your workout, with 10-15 grams per occasion. To a certain extent, this also helps replenishing glycogen. If you are on a ketogenic diet, forget about this - that’s totally different.

The ratio can naturally be changed according to your demand, but you should take in some carbohydrates within 2 hours after the workout, by all means. As an ultra cheap solution, you can add dextrose or maltrodextrin to your post-workout shake (although we believe that the latter is a rather poor source of carbohydrates), but mixed carbohydrates such as Carbox or Carbo-NOX are much better, because they refill you with extra arginine, vitamins and minerals. And the best - but unfortunately, not the cheapest - solution is: Vitargo. Carbohydrates absorbing slower are not preferred after a workout.

The only thing you still need to do is to add protein in the amount of about 0.5g/kg of body weight to your shake, and then you can regenerate with the mindset that after your workout, you have done everything for the replenishment of macronutrients...

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