Your nutrition before and after your workout is crucial to just how effectively your body recovers and builds muscle. After you've gone through an intensive training session, your muscles are riddled with fatigue and your muscle fibres have sustained damage. Your muscles are also deprived of amino acids and energy, so replenishment is necessary. While these are all a part of working out, there are supplements to reduce the after-effects of intense training, allowing you to recuperate faster, and build muscle mass at the same time.
Here are the best supplements for building muscle to take post-workout.
Protein is a staple of bodybuilding for so many reasons. You know it is the building block to help you gain muscle, but it also plays a key function in preventing the break down of muscles. When you train, there is only so much energy your body can produce, and after a certain mark, your body runs out of energy stores and begins to break down your muscles to obtain energy. Known as muscle catabolism, this process causes a deterioration of your hard-earned lean muscle mass. Catabolism leads to a build up of waste products in your muscles as well, like ammonia, which causes fatigue and hampers your performance. Taking a fast-acting protein source, along with a side of simple carbs, can easily prevent catabolism and instead, induce muscle anabolism (growth).
Creatine is another bodybuilding favourite. It doesn't just accelerate your body's lean muscle mass growth. It is also essential to increasing your recovery rate. When you put yourself through strenuous exercise, your muscles undergo strain, and there is the potential for inflammation and damage. Creatine increases the recovery rate of your muscle cells, allowing the gap between each workout to be shorter, hence giving you the chance to train more, without being hindered by soreness.
People tend to drink BCAAs during a workout as it has performance enhancing benefits, but studies have shown that taking it after a workout promotes an anabolic environment in your body, priming it to build more lean muscle mass. This is because of leucine, one of the key amino acids in BCAAs. Leucine stimulates your body to build muscle, even after a workout where your muscle fibres are in disarray. Instead of muscle breakdown, with BCAAs, you get more growth.
You rarely hear of vitamin C being a post-workout essential, but it is. When you train, your body produces toxins and free radicals that break down your cells. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that counteracts the aftereffects of your workout, creating an environment where your muscles can grow unhindered. Vitamin E is also another popular choice, and when taken with Vitamin C, doubles down on the protective effects.
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