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Good To Grow

Good To Grow

Post-Workout Strategies
For Recovery and Growth

During an intense training session, your body is put through the ringer in terms of the acute physiological responses that ensue from training, particularly high volume or hypertrophy training. This style of training will lead to exercise-induced muscle damage, in the form of small micro-tears within your muscle fibers that the body perceives as acute injury. Its response is to up-regulate various inflammatory markers and chemical messengers.

These chemical messengers signal the body to initiate the healing process, which coincidentally is also one of the triggers for muscle growth. Most people are usually made aware of this phenomenon by lingering soreness a few days after a workout. However, often times this may get in the way of future training and can (particularly for beginners) keep you out of the gym for a while.

On top of this muscle damage and resulting muscle soreness, there are various other physiological responses to training that demand immediate attention to promote optimal recovery and get you ready for your next workout. For example, we also experience a significant reduction in muscle glycogen, which is our primary fuel source during workouts. Once glycogen levels become diminished or if the intensity of training is high enough, we may also begin to oxidize protein, specifically BCAAs, as fuel leading to an unwanted state of muscle catabolism.

Thus, during training we see a dramatic increase in both protein synthesis and protein degradation. For those interested in building muscle you’ll want to do anything possible to avoid protein degradation or a catabolic state, as it means you may be breaking down muscle tissue. If you are training multiple times per week, getting the recovery process started as soon as possible by shifting the protein balance to an anabolic state is essential.

You’ll also want to make sure to focus on carbohydrate intake as soon as possible as this helps to replenish muscle glycogen stores so you have enough energy to fuel your next workout. Therefore any technique to help speed up the recovery process and get you primed for your next workout is a primary focus for many serious lifters. Certain post-workout nutritional strategies have been shown to help reduce the lingering effects of strenuous training and allow you to train at a higher level for extended periods of time without missing time at the gym or struggling to make improvements.

Post-Workout Strategies for Recovery

One effective strategy is simply to consume enough calories and macronutrients to sustain your level of training and promote optimal recovery. This is essential following a workout because it ensures you are getting both enough carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen levels and enough protein to jumpstart the growth and repair process of skeletal muscle. If you are consistently in a hypocaloric (underfed) state, your body may lose mass, particularly at the expense of hard-earned muscle, which is why it’s important to refuel as soon as possible following a workout.

BioQuest’s MyoZene is a great example of what a post-workout supplement option should look like. It consists of an advanced formula containing essential carbohydrates, fast-acting whey protein isolate and ultra-rapid-action hydrolyzed whey, plus an advanced leucine-peptide technology specifically designed to trigger anabolism and promote immediate recovery. The leucine peptide mechanism in MyoZene is an especially bioactive source of that essential amino acid, providing up to four times the leucine found in typical mass builders, all of it primed to super-efficiently trigger muscle synthesis through the mTOR pathway.

MyoZene’s precision-targeted matrix of whey isolate, hydrolyzed whey, and bonded leucine peptides is ideal for unleashing a cascade of physiological effects conducive to muscle growth. And MyoZene doesn’t stop there. Creapure® creatine monohydrate (universally regarded as the world’s best) is included to help support cell volumization and strength. MyoZene also contains potent amounts of a highly bioavailable N-acetyl-L-glutamine to support recovery, plus L-carnitine L-tartrate, which may help up-regulate androgen receptor content and help augment luteinizing hormone secretion. A sturdy dose of targeted carbs is present as well, to replenish muscle glycogen and facilitate insulin response. These additional anabolic amplifiers combine to drive truly phenomenal increases in recovery, strength and size.

How phenomenal? In a 4-week, university-based, product-specific clinical study, a MyoZene-receiving subject group experienced gains of 24% in strength/muscular endurance at the mid-study point, and an impressive 32% at the end of the study. At the same time, the MyoZene users actually reduced some body fat as well.

Clearly, MyoZene is the perfect anabolic cocktail after high-intensity exercise. Keep in mind too that muscle-support and recovery is a 24-hour a day job. You’ll want to eat clean, supplement with a quality whey protein product at other points in the day (ProSource’s NytroWhey Ultra Elite fits the bill here nicely), and take an extended-release casein protein before bed. Also, consider taking a high-quality BCAA supplement at some point in your day. A superior product like ProSource’s Mega BCAA is manufactured with the absolute highest-quality ingredients available industry-wide to ensure maximum potency, and is available in both powder and convenient capsule formats.

Benefits of Fish Oil

When you’re pushing yourself to your physical limits day after day, muscle soreness and inflammation will become an issue. Here’s where omega-3 fatty acids can help save the day. In one clinical study, researchers found that after 30 days of supplementation with approximately 1.8 grams per day of fish oil, subjects experienced reductions in delayed onset muscle soreness, improvements in range of motion and reductions in localized swelling following a muscle-damaging exercise protocol (2). If you don’t consume a lot of fish regularly in your diet, which most people don’t, you may want to consider adding fish oils to your supplement regimen to help reduce the damaging effects of intense training.

Look for a fish oil that contains a high amount of omega-3’s, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) as they seem to be the most beneficial. Omega-1250 by ProSource is a prime example of a high quality fish oil supplement as it has over a gram of fish oil per serving with abundant amounts of DHA and EPA which can serve as an important supplement in your stack regimen to help reduce inflammation and facilitate recovery. On a side note, it’s usually recommended to not overdo pharmaceutical interventions such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), as some of these have actually been shown to reduce protein synthesis following resistance training, which would ultimately delay the healing process and hinder muscle growth over time.

The most aggressive and ambitious workout regimen you can undertake will be limited in its productivity if you don’t take your post-workout nutrition seriously. If you find your growth stalling, or if you are finding yourself consistently sore and fatigued during training, look to incorporate the ingredients above into your meal prep to help you attain your physique goals.

Read more about MyoZene here.

Read more about Mega BCAA here.

Read more about Omega-1250 here.

Scientific References:

1 Lou L, Kalman D, Feldman S, Krieger DR. An Open Label Clinical Trial Evaluating the Effects of MyoZene with Resistance Training on Changes in Body Composition and Muscle Strength. 55th American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference. Med Sci Sports Exer 2008; 40(5): S98; 939.

2 Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine; March 2009, Vol. 19, No. 2, 115-9.

Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for  any information herein.