Post Workout Drink: All the Difference
We’ve already discussed ideal nutrition post-workout and that will definitely work for most people. For the others that are interested in inducing the greatest possible muscle hypertrophy/growth (cheaply and safely), this might be a good post-workout drink for you! Basically, we wanted to show you what has worked for us in the past!
The Ideal Post Workout Drink
I’m not saying I’m the hulk but after using this post-workout drink I have increased my strength and put on several pounds of muscle!
For people like me who have a hard time gaining weight, this can be very helpful. [Note: this is not an in-depth article of any of the ingredients but rather a quick, simple rundown. We could literally write a whole article on each one!]
Creatine (found naturally throughout the body) sometimes gets a bad rap because it is grossly misunderstood. All creatine essentially does is allows your muscles to perform an intense exercise at a higher rate for a longer period of time.
This allows you to tax your muscles more which in turn can cause hypertrophy or muscle growth. This can allow you to pack on a few pounds of muscle!
So does creatine actually work?
One study found that when supplementing creatine with whey protein, you can actually have a greater increase in lean muscle mass than when supplementing with whey protein alone [whey protein 1.2 g/kg bodyweight with creatine 0.1 g/kg body weight per day] (Burke et al. 2001).
Likewise, Dr. Antonio CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition said,
To date, creatine is clearly the single most effective dietary supplement for enhancing gains in anaerobic performance as well as increasing lean body mass and muscle fiber size.
So how much should I take?
While you can go off of the numbers listed above, it’s easiest to just remember to take between 4-6g of creatine a day for maintenance. You can also “load” creatine to quicken the results (high dose 10-20g per day for 7-14 days), but that is not a must. You can achieve the same results by taking your daily normal dose but the effects will just take a little longer to witness.
The timing of creatine is still debatable, there is evidence it is better for lean muscle mass and strength to consume it after a workout and there is also evidence it is better before a workout (or both)! Due to this, I say take it when it is most convenient, which for me is in my post-workout drink!
I found a relatively cheap 100% creatine monohydrate from ProSource.net which has worked great for me. You don’t have to buy the “suped-up” expensive creatine.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most highly studied supplements ever and time and time again it has been found to be highly effective and highly absorbed, so the simplest blend can be the best! It has also been found to be safe for women as well.
We all know we need protein! It is a building block of muscle and something many of us get plenty of in our normal diet! But we can use a little more to induce muscle growth after an intense workout.
I don’t buy into all of the fancy proteins that are loaded with other junk. To me, whey protein is whey protein (some people will argue that) but if my whey protein has at least 3-4g of leucine per serving then it is good to go!
Leucine is one of the more important amino acids for building and synthesizing muscle! With Stark and associates in 2012 saying,
The leucine content of a protein source has an impact on protein synthesis, and affects muscle hypertrophy. Consumption of 3–4 g of leucine is needed to promote maximum protein synthesis.
Likewise, the Stark and associates study in 2012 also noted that to induce the greatest hypertrophy, individuals need to consume 1.2-2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight a DAY (not solely after an intense workout, more on that in a minute).
Now, this is way higher than the normal dietary recommendations for protein but as I said earlier this article is about inducing the greatest hypertrophy possible!
So how much should I take?
After an intense workout it has been recommended to induce muscle hypertrophy you should take anywhere from 30-40g protein (if you weigh less than 200lbs; if more consume 40-50g).
As I said, whey protein is whey protein! I get mine from the local grocery store, just remember to make sure it has 3-4g leucine per serving.
Finally, the ingredient that makes it all work more efficiently! Consuming dextrose (a carbohydrate) after an intense workout can induce an insulin spike. Once this insulin spike happens your muscle will absorb the protein and creatine more efficiently and at a higher rate.
Basically meaning the protein and creatine gets to where it needs to be more effective.
It is also needed to allow leucine to more effectively induce protein synthesis and therefore help increase muscle growth (we are getting to hulk status now; Stark et al 2012)! See how dextrose is bringing it all together?
So how much should I take?
The easiest way to remember how much dextrose to consume after a workout is to take the number of grams of protein you are consuming post-workout and multiply that by 1.5. So if you are consuming 35g of protein then you should add at least 52g of dextrose (dextrose is super cheap so no worries about the large amount).
Likewise, don’t’ worry too much about the excessive calories (unless this is a major issue) because after an intense workout your body will burn through this in no time!
The cheapest dextrose I’ve found is from Puritan’s Pride. Super cheap and free shipping (if you’ve found it cheaper, please let me know)!
Blah, blah, blah I talk too much… So what does this all mean in regards to your post-workout drink? Ideally to induce hypertrophy along with strength increases a great mixture for a post-workout shake should include:
Whey Protein: 30-40g
Dextrose: 1.5 X grams protein
Try that post-workout drink after your workouts for a month and see how well it works for you!
Make sure to get the most out of your workout with your post workout nutrition!
Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Davison KS, Candow DG, Farthing J, Smith-Palmer T (2001) The effect of whey protein supplementation with and without creating monohydrate combined with resistance training on lean muscle mass and muscle strength. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 11: 349-364.
Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A (2012) Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9: 54.
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