In today’s competitive world, in the race of looking better and better, supplements have become an indispensable part of people’s daily regimes. A large segment of society, from teenagers to the elderly knows about the significance of supplements for muscle building.
But even after supplements being such a widespread topic of discussion, the majority of people are unaware of the basis of consuming a particular supplement. This is because people are unaware of the science behind supplements consumption.
Remember, if some trainer will market one supplement as the best supplement on earth, the other will market another supplement as perfect and foremost. However the fact is, no particular supplement is the best.
It is one’s body and its requirements which can only be understood by experienced health professionals; by accessing a person’s vitals, medical history and goals.
Below is the information about all that should be considered before opting post-workout supplements for muscle gain as well as post-workout foods.
5 Best Post Workout Supplements:
1. Whey Protein:
The most commonly known supplement in the world of bodybuilding is “whey protein”. However, the whey protein shake is not a magic which on consumption turns a lean man into a hardcore bodybuilder.
It is a way to supplement the amount of protein, which cannot be fulfilled or is difficult to meet by diet alone. Whey protein is a supplement manufactured by the remaining byproduct of cottage cheese production.
To build muscles, a proper workout regime with an appropriate diet and lifestyle is mandate.
Workout leads to breakdown of muscle tissue, and so body requires a fast absorbing protein for immediate muscle recovery. Whey protein is the fastest absorbing protein and is most suited as a post workout recovery drink.
This trait of whey protein makes it the best post workout supplement for muscle gain. It possesses various properties, which include:
- Best quality of protein, with a PDCAAS score of 1.
- Contains almost all essential amino acids.
- Rich in Leucine (one of the BCAAs).
- Better for muscle growth in comparison to soy or casein protein.
Some of the good whey proteins supplement for lean muscles are:
- Optimum Nutrition whey protein (provides 24 g protein per serving),
- Isopure (provides 25 g protein per serving),
- Ultimate Nutrition Prostar Whey (provides 25 g protein per serving)
2. Carbs (Carbohydrate Supplement):
The disintegration of muscle tissues during workout creates an immediate requirement for carbohydrates in the body, so that the body can restore its energy stores. It is not always possible to have a carbohydrate rich food available within 15 minutes from the training.
So carb- blend supplement can be a convenient option to have as a post workout supplement. These are a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates, and hence provide immediate as well as sustained energy to the body.
Examples of carb blend supplements are
- Universal Nutrition Carbo Plus,
- MuscleBlaze Carb Blend etc.
3. Mass Gainer:
Mass Gainer is a combination of around 75-80% carbohydrates, around 15-20% proteins and 4-5 % fats, of the total calories it provides. It is an appropriate post workout supplement for muscle gain besides weight gain; and so is suitable for people who want a bulky body and a muscular physique.
Excessive carbohydrate intake post workout leads to more glycogen production in the body, which is later converted to fat leading to weight gain.
Some of the good mass gainers are
4. Lean Mass Gainer:
Lean Mass Gainer comprises approximately 60-65% carbohydrates, around 30-35% proteins and 4-5 % fats, of the total calories it provides. It is a relevant post workout supplement for people who want to gain muscles and a few kilograms of weight, do not want a bulky body.
Example: MuscleBlaze High Protein Lean Mass Gainer etc.
A multivitamin with less Iron content is a good idea to have post workout, as most vitamins and minerals help in faster recovery of muscles. Do not have specific iron supplement after workout as hepcidin levels are high which cause blocking effect to iron absorption in the body.
Effects of having a calcium supplement post workout is still not clear, studies are going on.
Diet For Muscle Gain:
Diet for muscle building refers to adequacy of all macro and micro nutrients as well as ample water intake. It’s a big misconception that all what is required for building muscles is protein.
The first and foremost point of concern is calorie intake.
Calories: Calorie requirement of a person is calculated on the basis of his/her Ideal Body Weight. It may be 20 Kcal per kilogram of Ideal Body Weight (or even less), for people trying to lose weight. Whereas, it may be 30-40 Kcal per kilogram of Ideal Body Weight (or even more) for people trying to gain weight or muscles.
Hence, calorie requirement varies from person to person; for different age groups, for men and women, according to the goals etc. It cannot be the same for everyone trying to build muscles, or gain or lose weight.
All foods provide calories to the body by means of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. One needs to have calorie dense foods in post workout meals. Some foods have an excess of proteins, some have more of fats and some have excessive carbohydrates.
These calories cannot be fulfilled by just having any one nutrient (say protein) in excess, rather all nutrients should be consumed in adequate quantities to fulfill calorie requirement. All these nutrients have their own significance, defined below.
1. Protein: Intense workout leads to muscle tissue breakdown and body is in a catabolic state post workout. Sufficient protein intake in post workout meal is essential to accelerate muscle repair and growth; provided the daily calorie intake is also adequate.
There is a phenomenon in body known as “Protein sparing action”, a process by which other nutrients- fats and carbohydrates are utilized to provide energy (calories) to the body, so that proteins can be left out for muscle gaining, tissue repair and growth.
A person having surplus amount of proteins in post workout diet with calorie deficit would not be able to gain muscles properly; as a huge amount of consumed proteins will be utilized by the body for energy purpose.
A calorie dense food with an excess of protein is a good idea to have post workout, such as
Whey protein supplement with Oats Porridge,
- Peanut Butter Sandwich with Egg whites,
- A glass of Natural Whey Water with Carb Supplement,
- Homemade Boiled Chicken Sandwich, etc
2. Carbohydrates: Glucose, a simple form of carbohydrate is stored as glycogen in the body, which provides energy whenever required. These stores of glycogen breakdown during workout and get depleted to some extent, which causes fatigue.
Now here, body needs to rebuild its glycogen stores and so carbohydrate intake is necessary in post workout meals. Some of the good choices of carbohydrate foods along with protein foods would be:
Sugarcane Juice with Boiled Chicken
- Berry Smoothies or Shakes with Boiled Egg Whites
- Sweet Potato Chaat with Whey Protein supplement
- Ample amount of seasonal fruits with Lassi and Peanut Butter
- Carb Supplement with Boiled Egg Whites
3. Fats: Fats are not required in post workout diet in large quantities. It does not mean that fats are totally restricted but are to be consumed in small quantity. Just like low fat peanut butter that contains a limited amount of fats but is a good source of protein, some amount of white butter or hung curd, are good options to be consumed post workout.
Micro nutrients in post workout meals:
Almost all micro nutrients are required in minute quantities for recovery from catabolic state after workout. However, zinc helps in healthy tissue repair, produces good hormones (including testosterone) and hence zinc food sources should be included. Example of zinc foods are
- whole grains etc.
Another essential micro nutrient is magnesium, which prevents muscle spasm and relax muscles post workout. Food sources of magnesium include
- Fruits (Bananas, Berries, Figs etc),
- Green Leafy Vegetables,
- Nuts & Seeds etc
Water: Last but not the least; adequate intake of water is essential followed by workout as exercise causes water loss from the body.
Human muscles comprise of about 75% water and to recover and regrow, water is extremely eminent. Moreover, it facilitates the digestion of all nutrients, which are required for recovery after working out.