What you eat after a workout is one of the most important aspects of muscle growth and weight loss. So if you’re pushing yourself in the gym then it is absolutely crucial to follow that up with not only protein, but some carbohydrates afterwards aswell. The reason why you need to eat carbs after your workout is because your muscles use glucose (usable energy) and glycogen (stored energy) for energy during the workout, so depending on how intense your workout was your body will be severely depleted of both energy sources.
If there isn’t enough available energy for your muscles to use then the stress hormone cortisol will be secreted and it will start to break down muscle tissue for energy within a few hours of your training session. So until you fully restore your energy stores you risk catabolism and prevent your muscles from growing.
To prevent this eating the right carbs after a tough session will get you on the road to a speedy recovery, specifically simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (quickly absorbed, high insulin response). So to help you with this here are 5 of the best carbohydrates that you should include in your post workout meal or snack:
White potatoes are a great option to eat post workout because it is a simple carbohydrate with a glycemic index of around 70-100 depending on the type of the potato and how you prepare it.
Oatmeal will provide you with a hit of energy to replenish your muscles and with a glycemic index of around 80 it is one of the best foods to eat post workout.
Probably the most staple food in a bodybuilders diet white rice has one of the highest glycemic index amongst grains (around 64) which will allow for a very fast increase in your blood sugars, creating a condition ideal for replenishing your glycogen.
Candy such as Haribo, gummy bears, Pixy Stix and any that is made with over 5o percent dextrose/corn syrup is a great post workout choice because of the sugar/glucose used. Remember glucose has a glycemic index of 100 so the more glucose the better ! P.S. corn syrup is mainly glucose and is considerably different to high fructose corn syrup.
Tasty and portable with so many flavours to choose from, rice cakes make a great post workout snack. With an even higher glycemic index than white rice (around 82) you’ll be able to digest the carbs quickly and replenish your glycogen stores.
Hopefully, you are now aware on how important carbohydrates are to the recovery process and by pairing it with fast digesting protein (like whey protein powder) there’s no doubt you’ll start to see results from all the hard work ! So if you’re not already eating simple carbohydrates after your workout then now is the time to start.