When it comes to drinking a daily workout shake, everyone seems to have a different opinion. Before asking ‘when’, your first question should be ‘what’. Depending on your answer, you’ll know the scientifically-based best times to supplement.
Amino Acid Intake
If you want to drink pre-workout, think essential amino acids. One study suggests that consuming an essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement immediately before resistance training improves protein synthesis for up to two hours post exercise. Another study examining the same pre-workout consumption administered the supplement 1 hour before exercise, and found no increase in post muscle protein synthesis. This study shows that timing can be everything.
What’s In Your Powder?
Before buying just any supplement mix, check your nutrition panel. Study each ingredient to make sure there is science to back up, why you should ingest it. Avoid mystery blends! Be careful taking supplements with extra stimulants that your body doesn’t need. This can possibly lead to vomiting, high blood pressure, and kidney damage.
If you plan on a short, heavy exercise, add carbs to your pre-workout supplements. Why? During short and intense sessions carbohydrates can serve as the main fuel for your muscles.
Recover With Protein
A study suggest the importance of your post-workout supplementation for protein synthesis. Protein consumption after exercise is especially important if you are looking to build mass. One study found protein ingestion after workouts especially important for muscle hypertrophy. Building lean muscle mass often coincides with decreasing body fat composition, as demonstrated in a study of protein consumption in collegiate female athletes.
Carbohydrates and Recovery
In the past, carbs were seen as a vital component of post-workout muscle protein synthesis. However, some studies now suggest carbs are of little importance to this aspect of recovery. Instead, think of carbohydrates for their ability to restock the glycogen you’ve used to fuel the muscles.
Milk – A Natural Recovery Drink
Milk is a great source of both Casein and whey proteins. Drinking milk after working out has shown to improve muscle protein synthesis, and aid in recovery due to its high content of usable amino acids. Make it chocolate milk post workout, and you have a great combination of both the carbs and protein needed for recovery. The bioactive peptides within milk proteins have also been known to improve heart health and the immune system as well as making it a great choice for improving overall health. And if you are feeling some post-workout pain, find a glass of milk, and enjoy the calming effect on your nervous system. In fact, the effect of milk peptides on the brain have a similar effect as opium or morphine.
So, if you supplement, make sure it’s the right type at the right time. And if nothing else, finish off your workout with a tall glass of milk. But for optimal results, it’s always better to plan you pre-workout and post workout meals.