On Blast: CHO or Protein for post-workout recovery?
A metabolic window refers to a time period of approximately 30-60 minutes post-exercise, then again 2 hours later. During this time, a balance between the right proportion of CHO and protein can help the body in recovery following a strenuous workout. Consuming the balanced snack/meal after the window has closed can result in as much as 85% less protein synthesis necessary for muscle recovery. High glycemic index CHO results in higher muscle glycogen 24 hours after vigorous exercise (think PBJ sandwich, greek yogurt & granola, or fruit & cheese).
Recovery nutrition can:
- Reduce an athlete’s susceptibility of becoming sick
- Avoid a negative protein balance
- Avoid muscle hypertrophy
- Improve body responsiveness to recover after a strenuous workout
- Minimize muscle catabolism
- CHO intake post-exercise increases insulin levels = promotes uptake of glucose into the muscles (restores muscle glycogen)
- Combination of CHO and protein intake has proven to be more effective in recovery than focusing solely on either alone.
- 2:1 CHO to protein intake for resistance exercise
- 4:1 CHO to protein intake for glycogen-depleting exercises (distance running)