Two primary metabolic events occur when you work out. First, your muscles utilize stored glycogen (carbohydrates) for energy, which leads to depleted muscle stores; and secondly, muscle protein is broken down, which leads to damaged muscles. This is why it can be said that training in itself is catabolic, which is defined as a destructive metabolic process that means “tearing down” (while anabolic, a common term you have no doubt heard before, is the opposite and is defined as a positive metabolic process that means “building up”). While the act of training is catabolic, however, the extent of glycogen depletion and muscle tissue damage will vary based on the type of training you do. Typically, serious athletes and bodybuilders will undergo more stressful and more frequent training sessions that will require more glycogen for muscular energy and result in a greater level of muscle protein breakdown. This is because the primary goal of many forms of training is to break down muscle tissue so it can repair and rebuild in order to be able to come back stronger and bigger. Some forms of training are functionally related to the athlete’s chosen sport. In a case like this, the primary goal is skill related because the goal of most athletes is to perform at a higher level; however, the same metabolic events of glycogen depletion and muscle damage, occur.
How does this relate to the more casual fitness enthusiast or exerciser? It relates because anyone that puts their muscles under stress is putting themselves in the same metabolic environment. Individuals that exercise on a more casual basis will still face the same dilemma but not to the same extent. Despite your experience level, if your muscles are in a depleted and damaged state as a result of your training session, it becomes vital to replenish its glycogen levels and promote repair of damaged tissue so that you can train at your best during your next scheduled session.
Therefore, the most important thing you can do after a training session regardless of your experience level is to focus on recovery. The process of recovery is so essential that it can be said that your progress is primarily dependent on how well you recover. One of the best ways to begin the recovery process is to ingest a shake that contains both fast and slow-digesting proteins as well as fast and slow-digesting carbohydrates.(1,2,3,4) This process quickly begins to replenish what you just used up during your training session. Additionally, the timing of this is considered to be important because the sooner you can consume a high-quality post-workout shake after your training session, the better. In fact, many authorities suggest drinking your shake within 45 minutes.(5)
While there are many options available when it comes to your post-workout shake, why not use a product like Ignite Nutrition’s Load-Up? This is a well-thought-out recovery formula that is meant to provide the nutrients your body needs the most after a training session. Load-Up provides 20g of both fast and slow-digesting proteins from superior quality sources such as whey and milk, as well as 41g of fast and slow-digesting carbohydrates from four different sources. Whether you train several times a week or several times a day, Load-Up has the nutrients you need to ensure you are recovering completely. It's true with every formula we make, and it’s true when it comes to the critical importance of your recovery – Ignite Nutrition has your back!
Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic revision of Rochefortia Sw. (Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: E7720. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720. (n.d.). doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f
Kreider, R. B., & Campbell, B. (2009, June). Protein for exercise and recovery. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20048505
Rasmussen, B. B., Tipton, K. D., Miller, S. L., Wolf, S. E., & Wolfe, R. R. (2000, February). An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10658002
Aragon, A. A., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2013, January 29). Nutrient timing revisited: Is there a post-exercise anabolic window? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23360586