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Maximize Your Gains With Carbs

June 16, 2022

Maximize Your Gains With Carbs

This is going to be hard for the keto folks to read, beware.

Post workout carbs are absolutely critical for getting the most from your workouts for multiple reasons:

Glycogen

Glycogen is the main fuel source for the body, if you train hard you are burning glycogen. The main reason to consume carbs during/after you workout is to replenish your glycogen stores. 

Roughly 80% of ATP (the energy for your cells) is created from glycogen, its been shown just 3 sets of 12 reps performed to muscular failure resulted in a 26.1% reduction of glycogen stores

Glycogen availability has been shown to mediate muscle protein breakdown (catabolism). One study showed muscle breakdown more than doubled in a glycogen-depleted vs glycogen-loaded state. 

Consuming a supplement with carbs alongside protein and creatine immediately after working out has also shown to lead to more muscle growth than consuming the same supplement later in the day - meaning the timing of your nutrients can matter.

Cortisol

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Working out hard is a stress on your body and elevates cortisol levels. High cortisol can lead to decreased recovery, lower testosterone and a hole mess of other things. 

Consuming carbs post workout significantly decreases cortisol and helps you to recover faster and stronger. One study showed consuming carbs and BCAAs post workout decreased cortisol levels up to 11% while the placebo group (no carbs) has cortisol levels elevated by 105%!

The  same study also observed a 27% reduction in skeletal muscle degradation in the group consuming carbs/BCAAs while the placebo group saw a 56% increasein muscle degradation.

TL;DR - Post workout carbs can help refuel you, decrease muscle breakdown, reduce cortisol and increase muscle growth.

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