Post-Workout Nutrition

Catabolic - The breakdown of tissues

Anabolic - The build up and repair of tissues

When we workout (this can be aerobic such as running, anaerobic such as weightlifting or Crossfit which is a mixture) our body goes into a catabolic state, this happens when their is insufficient protein in our system to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This means that in order to support the energy demands of exercise and recovery our body turns to the breakdown of larger molecules such as muscle tissue. Within a prolonged catabolic state, the recovery process is delayed and you may experience a greater degree of soreness the following day. Post-exercise an anabolic state is favourable over a catabolic state, this is to promote muscle protein synthesis and recovery. To promote an anabolic state, the body needs to have sufficient protein.

A catabolic state tends to happen as a result of two influences. The first is inadequate nutrition. For example, during the day you need to consume enough protein and other nutrients to promote an anabolic state. The second is intense training, the more intense the training, the greater degree of muscle breakdown. Therefore to reduce the effects of soreness and fatigue the following day it is necessary to promote greater protein throughout the day and post exercise. This can be difficult during daily life as no one wants to eat broccoli and chicken breast every 3 hours or 15 minutes post exercise to maintain protein levels. Therefore simple easier methods of consuming protein throughout the day and after exercise is an easier alternative. Protein can be easily be ingested with the consumption of foods such as protein bars or within protein shakes. This type of protein is generally favourable post exercise over natural sources (meats, nuts and dairy) of protein due to the taste and simplicity. Research shows that 20g of ingested protein is sufficient to stimulate greater amount of muscle protein synthesis, promoting a post workout anabolic period. This will help to promote a shorter recovery time, allowing you to feel less sore the day after exercise.