In this third instalment of the Peri Work supplements series. I will be going over the best supplements and nutrients to consume post workout to stop catabolism in its tracks and begin the recovery process.
But if you haven't already check out part one and two the Peri Workout supplement series here and here.
The supplements and nutrients you would take post workout will depend on what you are consuming before and during training. For example if you are having carbohydrates like highly branched cyclic dextrin and essential amino acids during. Then you wouldn't necessarily need to take whey protein after training. So don't think you should take these on top of any pre and during workout nutrients. Each person will have preferences depending on where they're at and what they're training for.
Post workout supplementation is the old horse when it comes to peri workout supplements. While pre and during workout supplements have really only gone mainstream in the last 5 years or so. Post workout supplements have been the norm for decades. Even though they have been around for so long and there are now plenty of great options to take pre and during training. Post workout nutrition still has its place.
The supplements I'll be covering are for post workout are
Whey Protein (isolate, concentrate, hydrolysate)
Other protein types (Rice protein, Pea Protein, Hemp protein)
Maltodextrin and dextrose
Glutamine and Glycine
There are hundreds of great articles on whey protein so I'm not going to go into too much detail here. The main benefits of whey protein are.
It has a very fast breakdown and quickly gets amino acids into the blood stream compared to solid protein sources.
It has an amino acid composition that is promotive of anabolism - a high percentage of BCAA's and essential aminos.
It contains immunoglobins and other growth factors that are supportive to the immune systems
Its very insulinogenic meaning it causes a good insulin response. This is beneficial for stopping catabolism which is the first thing we want to do post workout.
The main differences between concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate is how quickly they are broken down into their constituent amino acids, and their percentage makeup of protein.
Whey concentrate being less refined and containing about 80-85% protein by weight. To whey hydrolysate being more refined, and containing 95% or so protein and and being partially broken down so it digests very quickly.
If you want to see more on the differences between whey concentrate and isolate you can check it out here
For how much whey protein to have it depends on a few factors. But somewhere between 20 and 50 grams is the most common. Or if you want to get fancy 0.3 to 0.5g per kg of bodyweight.
Other Protein Types
For people who don't tolerate whey that well or just want to rotate between different protein sources (good idea) these can be great options.
The main thing when picking one of these is to make sure it doesn't taste like vommity chalk. There are some nasty tasting ones around. But there are some good ones. From what I've had sun warrior seems to taste the best.
At the end of the day these are not quite up to par when it comes to the recovery effects of whey. But they are still a great option to get an easily digested source of protein in after training.
Maltodextrin and Dextrose
Maltodextrin and dextrose and just fast absorbing carbohydrate powders that you can have post workout with your protein to help lower cortisol after training, replenish glycogen and begin the recovery process.
Dextrose is just straight glucose so has a sweet taste. While maltodextrin is chains of glucose molecules up to 20 in length.
This just gives it a higher osmolarity than dextrose so it can empty the stomach quicker. But in reality the difference is quite small. If you really want a carbohydrate that leaves the stomach quickly highly branched cyclic dextrin is a better choice. I covered it in Part 2 here
But if you are having your carbs after training you don't need to worry about stomach upset like you would if you were having carbs during training.
Dosage: Again that depends on your goals. If you have high body fat and are trying to get lean then no post workout carbs for you.
If you are lean and trying to gain weight or maximise recovery then go for 1-2 grams of carbohydrates per kilo of bodyweight.
Glutamine and Glycine.
Glutamine and glycine are amino acids that work particularly well post workout with protein if you have a higher body fat. Or are trying to get leaner and don't want to have high amounts of fast digesting carbs post workout.
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid meaning while the body can produce it on its own its used so frequently that levels can become below optimal and supplementation can have a significant positive benefit.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue and it is also used heavily by the immune system and digestive system.
The other benefit of glutamine is that is easily converted into glucose in the liver via glucneogenesis. This means you can restore muscle glycogen levels without having a big dose of fast acting carbs and the accompanying rise of insulin levels. Which is ideal if you are in a fat loss phase or are not very insulin sensitive.
Glycine is beneficial to take after training for its effect in lowering cortisol. During hard training we raise cortisol which is a good thing. It helps us mobilise energy stores for training. But after training we want to bring cortisol back to baseline as quickly as possible. If you are not consuming carbs then glycine can get the job done.
Glutamine start off at 5 grams and build up to 20 grams.
Glycine start of at 2 grams and build up slowly to 10 to 20 grams.
Be careful with glycine if you have too much when you are not used to it you might vomit or shit your pants so build up slowly.
Before I finish up one thing I want to point out which hopefully you already know. Supplements don't do shit if your training and nutrition is not as good as it could be.
You will always get more benefit out of improvements in nutrition and training than taking a new supplement. But when you have those dialled in using correct supplementation definitely does create a measurable improvement in performance and recovery.
Another thing always focus on the quality and quantity of the actual nutrients you are consuming. Not who the supplement is endorsed by or how shredded the label says it will get you.
Be educated on what you are consuming otherwise you are just flying blind, hoping for the best and probably wasting your money.