Carbs and Protein: Do We Need Both After a Workout

We all want to look our best after a workout. However, it’s very difficult to do so if you’re eating junk food or any other type of bad foods. You need to make sure that your diet is healthy and balanced. Eating too much sugar will cause you to gain weight and put off getting into shape for months. If you don’t have time to go out and exercise every day then you’ll never get fit enough!

Carbohydrates are needed for energy during workouts. They provide fuel to the muscles and give them strength. They also help prevent muscle cramps and keep blood glucose levels steady.

Carbohydrates are necessary for proper growth and repair of muscles. When carbohydrates are consumed with protein, they form a complete meal which helps increase metabolism and burn fat while burning calories.

Protein is used in many ways in the body besides just building up muscles. It provides energy and keeps the cells strong. Protein is essential for maintaining bone health, brain function, heart health, immune system function and much more.

Protein is needed in small amounts to maintain normal functions of the nervous system.

When we consume carbohydrates with protein after a workout, we obtain energy from both sources. Therefore when we combine carbohydrate with protein after a workout, it gives us greater benefits than if we consumed only one source of fuel before and after a workout.

You may have heard about saving carbohydrates for after a workout and that’s okay. There are mixed opinions on which is better to consume before a workout. If you’re looking to maximize your fat loss then save the carbohydrates for after your workout.

However, if you’re trying to maximize muscle growth then consume the carbohydrates before your workout.

Carbs and Protein: Do We Need Both After a Workout - GymFitWorkout

When thinking about what to eat after a workout, it’s important to pair something with protein as well. Some good examples are a protein shake, low fat Greek yogurt, or some low fat cottage cheese.

So when thinking about what to eat after a workout the options are pretty much endless. However, it is very important to read the nutrition facts and ingredients before you consume any food!

When thinking about what to take after a workout, you should think about taking in plenty of carbohydrates and some protein mixed in as well. If you’re looking to maximize fat loss, then consume the carbohydrates after your workout. However, if you’re looking to maximize muscle growth, then consume the carbohydrates before your workout.

Acid and Alkaline Foods

There are many foods that have a high or low pH level. When we talk about what to eat after a workout, we also need to discuss how the food will effect our body once we consume it.

Acidic foods have a pH level below 7 and are considered an acid. These types of foods may sound acidic, but they can actually be good for you. Some examples are orange juice, kiwi, and pineapple.

Alkaline foods have a pH level above 7 and are considered an alkaline. These types of foods may sound harmful, but they can actually be good for you. Some examples are carrots, wheat bread, and peas.

You might be wondering what the heck does this have to do with anything?

Well, the food that we eat changes the pH balance in our body. We need to maintain a proper balance between acid and alkaline foods.

When it comes to what to eat after a workout, it is important to remember that proteins are considered an alkaline food. They have a positive effect on our body and should be consumed when looking to increase muscle and lose fat.

Carbohydrates are also considered an acid food. Too many acidic foods can lead to health issues and actually hinder weight loss goals. So when looking to maximize weight loss, stick to low-acidic foods.

You might be wondering how what you eat effects your weight loss or muscle gain goals. Well, let’s say you eat a well balanced meal of chicken and vegetables on a daily basis. Your body is going to respond positively to this and you will see weight loss.

Sources & references used in this article:

Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise by KD Tipton, BB Rasmussen, SL Miller… – American Journal …, 2001 – journals.physiology.org

Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male … by JW Hartman, JE Tang, SB Wilkinson… – … American journal of …, 2007 – academic.oup.com

Postexercise protein-carbohydrate and carbohydrate supplements increase muscle glycogen in men and women by MA Tarnopolsky, M Bosman… – Journal of applied …, 1997 – journals.physiology.org

Short-Term recovery from prolonged exercise by JA Betts, C Williams – Sports Medicine, 2010 – Springer

Minimal whey protein with carbohydrate stimulates muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise in trained young men by JE Tang, JJ Manolakos, GW Kujbida… – Applied physiology …, 2007 – NRC Research Press

High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine by DJ Pedersen, SJ Lessard, VG Coffey… – Journal of Applied …, 2008 – journals.physiology.org

Muscle protein breakdown has a minor role in the protein anabolic response to essential amino acid and carbohydrate intake following resistance exercise by EL Glynn, CS Fry, MJ Drummond… – American Journal …, 2010 – journals.physiology.org

An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise by BB Rasmussen, KD Tipton, SL Miller… – Journal of applied …, 2000 – journals.physiology.org