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Post-workout supplements important to repair the body

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(Photos: Envato Elements)
The human body is an organic machine and as such, it is subject to wear and tear. Even throughout a normal day our bodies experiences minor damages that need to be repaired, in the form of resting and eating. When we exercise, the amount of damage is higher and therefore greater care is required in order for it to get repaired properly. It is because of this that post-workout supplements have been increasingly popular and routine in workout regimens.اضافة اعلان

What is the purpose of post-workout supplements?
Exercise taxes the body and requires many resources. This is especially true for high-intensity workouts. Our body needs to consume a few main resources in order to exercise and recover properly: carbohydrates, proteins, and fluids and electrolytes.

The main fuel source for the body comes in the form of sugar, particularly glucose. Glucose is derived from more complex sugars known as carbohydrates (carbs). The glucose in our body is available in two forms, free and reserved. The free form of glucose is readily available in the bloodstream, supplying the muscles with energy on demand. However, once the demand of sugar increases (e.g., due to exercise), the body will begin to dip into its reserves, which come in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is glucose that has been converted into a compound to be easily stored in skeletal muscles and the liver. For the average person who does not exercise regularly, the risk of running low on glycogen is relatively low, provided there is adequate diet. However, in the case of those who exercise regularly, the glucose in the body needs to be supplemented by means of carbs.

Carbs are available in many food items including bread and rice, but some may find it difficult to incorporate them in their diet or prefer to measure out their carbohydrate consumption more accurately. This is where post-workout supplements can come in handy.

By now, it is fairly common knowledge that protein is important for muscles. Proteins are made up of building blocks known as amino acids, which are used to build or maintain muscle mass. During exercise, especially during weightlifting, the muscles in the body undergo relatively minor damage. In order to repair these damages, enough amino acids need to exist in the body; for those looking to increase muscle mass, adequate intake of protein is especially important.



Humans use 21 different amino acids, the majority of which can be produced in the body. However, there are nine types of amino acids that are needed by the body and can only be acquired through diet. These are known as essential amino acids.

If you are looking to gain muscle mass, you should increase your protein intake to roughly 1.2-1.7 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Foods that contain protein include animal products such as beef, poultry, and eggs, as well as plant-based products such as nuts and seeds. The amount needed in order to get the recommended amount of protein can be difficult to obtain, and protein supplements can help compensate for this. This is especially true for people who prefer plant-based products, since many of the products lack adequate essential amino acids.
The resources lost can be regained mostly by a normal and balanced diet. However, it is important to ensure that you are receiving adequate amounts, which means you need to pay attention to your diet.
As you exercise, especially intensely, you will begin to sweat. This, along with urination and breathing, results in significant water loss throughout the day. Without replenishing the lost fluids by means of water consumption, dehydration may occur.

More concerning than dehydration is the high potential of electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are salts needed in the body and found in food and drink. They include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The body strictly regulates these electrolytes to be within a certain range; any imbalance can have potentially fatal consequences.

An electrolyte such as calcium serves many functions, one of which is fundamental to bone health. Similar to muscle damage, bones experience minor cracks that need to be repaired in order to prevent fractures. Post-workout supplements can replace electrolytes that were lost during exercise.

What are post-workout supplements?
A post-workout recovery regimen does not necessarily have to be powders that are mixed. The resources lost can be regained mostly by a normal and balanced diet. However, it is important to ensure that you are receiving adequate amounts, which means you need to pay attention to your diet.

Carbs can come in many forms. It is best to avoid processed foods, since they contain high amounts of sugar without much nutritional value. Foods such as bread, rice, fruits, and vegetables are a better source of carbohydrates.

Depending on your level of activity, you will need to ensure sufficient intake of carbs. For low-intensity exercises such as walking, yoga, or tai chi, 3-5 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day are recommended. For moderate-intensity exercises such as an hour or more of walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling, 5-7 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day are recommended. Lastly, strenuous physical activity such as most sports that involve heavy running require 6-12 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day.

Post-workout protein supplementation is most important, especially for those looking to increase muscle mass. Getting protein from dietary source’s may be difficult. More often than not, it is easier to supplement it, and doing so has the added benefit that the amount of supplements can be measured.

There are many options for protein supplements that are animal-based, such as casein and whey, or plant-based, such as soy, pea, and hemp. Many protein supplements contain branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are three of the nine essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are important to the body and ready-mixed formulations may provide adequate protein supplementation.

Fluids and electrolytes are relatively easy to replenish and rarely require much planning. Water is the important form of fluids needed. Almost every brand of water comes with varying amounts of electrolytes, mentioned on the bottle. The amount of water per day can be calculated as a range. At the low end, multiply your weight in kilograms by .033 and that will be the amount of water in liters per day. Or, at the high end, your body weight in kilograms multiplied by .065 will be the amount of water in ounces needed.

Alternatively, some suggest that drinking water when thirsty is sufficient, so long as you are properly hydrated. Chocolate milk has become increasingly popular as a post-workout drink since it is a good combination of carbs, water, protein, and electrolytes.


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