There are so many suggested post workout supplements, how is a person to decide what is best for them? Let’s try to narrow down those choices by listing some of them, along with their benefits.
Numerous vital nutrients are needed to build and repair muscles after a tough workout. These include proteins, vitamins, amino acids and even some carbohydrates. Amino acids most pertinent include leucine, isoleucine and valine. These have properties that help repair body tissue and promote growth. These 3 amino acids are found in foods such as eggs and meat. Other amino acids important to post workouts are creatine and glutamine. Creatine strengthens and rebuilds muscle. Glutamine helps boost your body’s ability to recover.
Carbohydrates help refuel your muscles after you have depleted them during a tough workout. Carbohydrates get stored as glycogen. When that source is diminished, a person can feel extremely fatigued. Sports drinks are an easy way to get this back into your body. If you skip refueling, you will likely feel exhausted and probably a bit testy! The recommended amount of carbohydrates to be consumed post workout is 1.2g per kilogram (1 kg=approximately 2 pounds). It may be hard for your body to tolerate this much at one time right after a workout. Another suggestion is to consume a smaller amount of carbs along with some protein, for a similar effect.
Vitamins B6, B12 and C can also be diminished during workouts. These are used by your body when under stress; especially physical stress due to workouts. Most people don’t have a big deficiency in the B vitamins, but even a slightly lower level can determine how your body recovers and handles stress. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and also helps the body recover from stress. It also reduces the chances of developing a cough or having problems with wheezing before or after workouts.
Another suggested post workout supplement is Tart Cherry Juice or powder. It has anti-inflammatory effects, and seems to be gaining popularity recently. Tart Cherry has phytochemicals, which are known to protect our bodies and prevent disease. These are plant based and are found in such foods as tomatoes and in soy products.
There are many choices, and experimenting is sometimes the best route to determine what works best for you. We hope with these suggestions, your choices are a little clearer.