What Type And How Much To Consume After A Brutal Workout. In my last article, I spoke about timing your carbohydrates for proper utilization. The goal in mind is reloading the muscle for aesthetical and strength purposes. This article will be related to the previous in that I will continue to speak about carbohydrates but concentrate on which are the best types of carbohydrates to consume.
Furthermore, I will show you how to figure out exactly how much to consume from a scientific standpoint. This will allow for replenishment of the depleted muscles while avoiding the addition of unwanted (ugly hard to shed) body fat.
Post-Workout Carb Formula
I use a formula that I learned from and give full credit to, the great late Daniel Duchaine. This man was one of the best bodybuilding gurus ever. In Dan's book Bodyopus he concentrates on carbohydrate replenishment and promoted a scientific formula that seems to work well for the general bodybuilding population.
I have broken down this formula for you in an easy to follow four-step procedure. This is the formula that I use when consuming my post workout carbohydrate reloading meal in the off-season(1).
Automatic Carb Formula Calculator
Use either this calculator or follow the directions below.
Full EXAMPLE Review
(10) lbs. Estimated fat - (145) lbs. total body weight = (135) lbs. LBW. Divided by 2.2 = 61.36 or (61) kg. So 61 is my multiple.
This is the formula for the feeding following an intense glycogen depletion training session. This meal should be consumed within two hours prior to training to hit the targeted window.
2g of carbs X LBW (kg)
2g of carbs X kg = grams per post workout meal
My Example: 2g of carbs X 61kg = 122g of carbohydrates consumed in the 2 hr window of opportunity after a workout.
So What Should I Do?
Therefore, I would consume 122 grams of carbohydrates immediately following my weight training session. So, now that you know how much to consume I bet that you are wondering what type of carbohydrate should be utilized for optimum results.
The best type of carbohydrate to use at this critical moment is maltodextrin or some type of liquid glucose. Maltodextrin can be found primarily in Carboplex, a replenishment product use by athletes and bodybuilders alike.
Additionally it is found in some other replenishment drinks such as Twinlab Carbo Fuel, Twinlab Ultra Fuel, Gatorade, & Poweraid.
Do not worry if you cannot grab hold of these items immediately. Grocery store availability of sugary drinks to include Kool-Aid, Tang, and raw sugar are plentiful and can work for you as well. You see the body will take up these liquid carbohydrates at an accelerated rate because of what you have just done to the receptors all along the muscle sites.
In other words, you have depleted the muscles by means of weight training. Now, when you consume carbohydrates you will replenish the trained muscles. This allows for a speedy recovery and reloading the muscle for optimal health and appearance.
If the bodybuilder/athlete had been on a relatively low or at least moderated carbohydrate - high protein diet and trains to depletion; then follows up by utilizing the prescribed carbohydrate formula they will achieve muscle replenishment (1,2).
Eat Sugar After A Workout? Are You Serious?
Now do not get me wrong here, I well know that the prescribed carbohydrates can destroy an individual. What I need you to understand is that carbohydrates only become a problematic issue when consumed in large amounts on a frequent basis. This is exactly what happens in the average daily American diet.
This issue becomes even more problematic when the majority of the carbohydrates eaten are in the form of processed carbohydrates and/or sugar. These can be the worst types of carbohydrates, but if you use science (as in this article) they can be the best (1,3).
The American diet becomes even more problematic when the average American combines fat and protein in their diet. This is commonly called food mixing and the only individuals that do not do this are the extremists, people such as the world's top athletes and bodybuilders.
The mixing of carbohydrates, fat, and protein not only slows down the gastric emptying (empting of the stomach into the small intestine) it also changes the rate of absorption because these nutrients compete for absorption, and damages certain nutrients because they stay in the acidic gastric (stomach) juices too long.
Furthermore, it is no doubt that the carbohydrate-dominated American diet is largely responsible for obesity in the United States.
Long term high-carbohydrate intake can become addictive, it unbalances your insulin (a powerful hormone)/glucagon (insulin's antagonist hormone) axis by increasing insulin resistance (the inability of the muscle cells to soak up the carbohydrates, therefore they get shuttled into fat cells or circulate in the blood damaging the vital body tissues), and locks you into a carbohydrate (sugar) burning, fat-storing, chronic low-energy state. (3,4)
| What Is Insulin?
A hormone made by [certain] cells of the pancreas. Insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood by moving it into the cells, where it can be used by the body for energy.
On the advantageous side however, strategically scheduling carbohydrate feedings to replenish glycogen (stored carbohydrates in the muscles) stores, initiate advantageous insulin secretions and spikes.
While mentioning the effects of the powerful hormone, insulin I want you to understand that it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Eating sugar and meals, which are high carbohydrates cause high blood sugar (BS) levels. High blood sugar levels will cause high amounts of insulin to be released by the pancreas.
Continuous and consistent high levels of insulin will ultimately lead to insulin resistance. This will make the muscles now want to take up carbohydrates. Insulin resistance stops sugar circulating in the blood from entering the muscle cells. But wait up, we do not advocate eating high sugary-carbohydrate meals on a consistent basis do we (4)?
Insulin secretion is directly related to the amount of blood glucose that passes through the pancreas, which is responsible for releasing insulin. Insulin in turn binds it self to the muscle cell receptors and enhances (helps) the entry of glucose into the muscle cells.
So lets see, hmmm, if I eat (drink for our matter) really sugary carbohydrate drinks right after I train this can actually be good for me, help me recover, and make my muscles full and healthy looking? You got it swami!
Until next time when I speak about the other macronutrients, protein and fat, and give you a brief update on my first contest of my 2002 competitive year as a Bodybuilding.com bodybuilder to be held on June 1st;
I want you to time your carbohydrates and utilize science, as it will work for you. And remember we must approach eating as ironclad warriors because that is what we are ultimately setting out to be.
Lastly if you are interested in some contest information before my next article appears, visit and join my community there is an abundance of information pertaining to that topic and bodybuilding in general as well (5).
1. Duchaine D. Underground Bodyopus Militant Weight Loss & Recomposition. Carson City, NA: XIPE Press, Inc. 1996:305-310.
2. Prevost MC. Glycogen supercompensation enhances athletic performance. JPE Sportscience. http://members.tripod.com/JPE_Sportscience/Supercompensation.htm. 30 Mar 2002.
3. Carbohydrate loading. U Lab Nut. http://www.ultralab.com/carb-load.html. 8 Apr 2002.
4. Zeischegg. Overweight-obesity. Dr.Zeisch. http://www.drz.org/asp/conditions/weight_loss2.asp. 25 Mar 2002.
5. Diabetes and exercise. Diab Exer. http://w3.uokhsc.edu/phar5442/Lectures/Diabetesexercise.html. 2 Apr 2002.