Recovery, it is without a doubt the single most important part of any training or exercise program. Proper recovery allows for improved performance, permits time for our body to heal itself in preparation for the next training load, and greatly decreases the risk of potential injury. All of these benefits allow for the attainment of new goals and PR's. When you do an intense strength training session, it causes microscopic tears in the fibers and connective tissues of your muscles. This is why strength training/weightlifting is always recommended over cardio if you’re looking to get stronger and lean out.
This type of training targets muscles in a way that traditional cardio has a harder time accomplishing. When you recover, you give your body a chance to adapt to the stress that you put it through with intense exercise. During this process, your tissue repairs and your muscles are replenished with more glycogen (their energy stores). Training creates micro-tears. Recovery allows them to heal. This is how we grow muscle and get stronger and leaner.
Post-workout nutrition is one major aspect of the recovery process that is often overlooked, but it is also one of the most crucial aspects to proper recovery. After an intense workout, your body needs to be refueled. Skip the refueling process, and you may struggle to make it through your next workout session. When you don’t replenish your body, it can leave you feeling fatigued and stall the recovery process. When you don’t restore what you have lost, it will put your body at risk of further damage during your next workout.
So, what should you consume after your workout to properly refuel the body?
The basis of post-workout nutrition involves the consumption of high-quality protein and carbohydrates after an intense exercise/training session. Whether it's high-intensity interval training, or resistance training, they both can result in depletion of important stored fuels and damaging muscle fibers. The primary fuel sources burned from these types of training are carbohydrates in the form of muscle glycogen and amino acids used in muscle tissue.
Carbohydrates are a critical and absolutely vital part of the post-workout equation and deserve prominent place in your workout recovery arsenal. They're an efficient, clean-burning fuel for virtually every function in your body, from movement to breathing to reading these very words. And research has shown that restricting carbohydrates can lead to a reduction in athletic performance during certain types of activities.
High-intensity activities such as strength training, sprinting, Olympic lifting, etc.. rely heavily on carbohydrates for fuel, usually in the form of glycogen, which is stored directly in your muscles. Without carbs, your body burns fat instead, which works fine for lower-intensity activities like walking and jogging, but burns too slowly to power high-intensity training sessions. (If you've ever tried running sprints or strength training when you're very hungry, you'll know exactly what I mean!) So a carb-deprived exerciser is often a slower and weaker one, too.
As we can now see, glycogen is essential to optimal training performance. In fact, up to 80% of ATP (The source of energy that is used to power the movement of contraction in working muscles) production can come from glycolysis (the breakdown of glycogen for fuel). High intensity training severely depletes your glycogen stores and drains the battery. When glycogen stores become depleted, performance suffers and exercise-induced muscle breakdown is accelerated. So, if you're performing high-intensity movements, replenishing glycogen after your training session is essential to maintain performance and optimize recovery between workouts.
* For a further breakdown of carbohydrates, and how vital they are for athletes and performance, click here to view our blog - Carbohydrates-101
High-quality protein intake is absolutely vital for maintaining high levels of physical function. Whether you’re an elite athlete, Mr. Olympia, a weekend warrior, or someone who is simply trying to become more physically active, your protein intake plays a key role in your physical performance. As an athlete, high-quality protein offers an abundance of benefits including promoting satiety or the feeling of fullness which is beneficial for athletes who are often fueling their bodies for long stretches of time or trying to achieve weight loss, help maintaining your muscle mass and preventing muscle wasting, building and strengthening muscles, and helps preventing muscle protein breakdown.
Just as the source and quality of your protein is important, timing of protein intake is especially important for athletes or anyone trying to build muscle. A high-quality, fast digesting, and rapidly absorbing protein (such as whey protein isolate) post-workout will quickly deliver a rush of amino acids to the muscle tissue you just broke down, jump-starting the recovery/rebuilding process. It’s very important that the protein is fast digesting in order to hit your bloodstream as quickly as possible and begin recovery. Oftentimes, whole food protein sources can take hours to break down in our systems. Whey protein is touted as the champion for fast-digesting protein to hit your system quickly and begin to repair and rebuild muscle.
REBUILD - A COMPREHENSIVE ALL-IN-ONE POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY FORMULA
Rebuild by Titan Nutrition is a comprehensive post-workout formula designed with one major goal in mind - to supply everyone from elite athletes, to everyday gym goers, to weekend warriors the post-workout nutrition needed to cover every facet of recovery, including muscle tissue repair, glycogen replenishment, rehydration with electrolytes, joint rejuvenation and protection, cell hydration and expansion, increasing muscle protein synthesis, and energy production. So, how does Rebuild accomplish this extraordinary goal? Glad you asked!
Rebuild starts off with a synergistic blend of Instantized Whey Protein Isolate and fast-absorbing carbohydrates (Dextrose) to deliver a rush of amino acids to the muscle tissue, which will jumpstart the body's recovery process, leaving you with stronger and bigger muscle fibers. This allows more force and power to be produced equaling more weight being moved in subsequent training sessions. The fast-acting carbohydrates will replenish glycogen stores used up during intense exercise to restore energy levels, and help to transport amino acids to the muscles enhancing the overall recovery process.
Next, Rebuild is formulated with six different complexes to ensure every aspect of recovery is fully covered. First, we have the Enhanced Recovery Complex consisting of Betaine Anhydrous, Creatine Monohydrate, and L-Glutamine to increase cell hydration and energy production (ATP), help with ridding the body of harmful toxins, and enhancing tissue repair.
Next, is the Oxidative Defense Complex helps reduce inflammation and rid the body of free radicals that can damage healthy cells that can drastically hinder the recovery process. The Flex Form Joint Health Complex is comprised of Glucosamine, MSM, and Cissus Quadrangularis to help further reduce inflammation, support connective tissue repair, and provide overall joint protection. Up next is the Hydro-Electrolyte Complex to help rehydrate the body after a grueling workout, help transfer nutrients after your workout, and ensure peak muscle contractions.
Lastly is the Revival B Complex. This complex is formulated to replenish key vitamins and minerals that were depleted during training, which will revitalize the mind and body, as well as help convert fuel to energy in the skeletal muscles.