Whether your performance goals are fat loss, muscle gain, toning or all of the above, optimizing the Recovery period that follows your workout is as critical to achieving your goals as your workout. Nutrition is 80% of the battle and the key to your success.
Did You Know?
Glycogen must be present to burn fat. If you haven’t eaten properly prior to your workout, storing enough glycogen to sustain your workout, your body will convert its body proteins (muscle) into glycogen. Less muscle means a lower metabolism.
Glycogen is the sugar stored in your muscles and liver, metabolized from the very carbohydrates you consume throughout the day. Glycogen is the primary fuel used by your body during weight, resistance or aerobic sessions lasting less than 2 hours. Since the human body can only store between 200-500 grams of glycogen (800 –2000 calories), it is entirely possible to burn through most or all your glycogen in a 60–90 minute session of intense exercise.
Depleting glycogen stores during a workout causes your body to go into a catabolic (muscle- wasting) state, using your own muscle to feed your body’s elevated metabolism and need for energy. Over time, the net result is a smaller version of yourself but with a higher fat to lean muscle tissue ratio. This decrease in muscle lowers your metabolic rate making it more and more difficult to burn calories and lose fat.
By drinking a high glycemic based drink immediately following a workout, preferably a 3 to 1 ratio of Carbs to Protein respectively, all sugars are shunted directly to your muscle fibers, not to your hips or those pesky love handles. Remember, glycogen is stored in your muscles not in fat. Once in your muscle cells, Recovery can begin and you can begin to rebuild a stronger, leaner you. Even if you are just trying to burn fat, replacing the sugars that you just burned enables your body to keep your metabolism humming by keeping your hard-earned muscle.
To optimize Recovery, nutrition is critical. Consuming an equal amount or 10% greater calories than expended during your workout period is the critical first step to Recovery. Eat Well!