WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES?
CARBS. What are carbohydrates? What do they do? They help your muscle grow. They make you fat. Both statements are true. However, by utilizing the Anabolic Window, you can make carbs work harder to expand your biceps, and not your waistline.
INSULIN. This is what is released by your pancreas when you consume carbohydrates. The type and amount of carbs affects the amount of insulin released, but this is not important to this article. What you need to know is that both fat cells, and muscle cells have insulin receptors. When insulin is released, it plugs into the receptors and the tissue (muscle or fat) starts storing carbohydrates that we have eaten. So what we want to do is open up the insulin receptors in the muscle as much as possible so that we can get optimum amounts of carbohydrate into the muscle, and divert them from fat. How do you do this, you may ask.
IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING. Exercise causes a drain of glycogen (carbs) in the muscle tissue. In an effort to replenish glycogen stores, the muscle that you worked will open its insulin receptors. This is when you need to take advantage of your body’s inherent wisdom, and EAT! The carbs you consume will refill your muscles, enhancing muscular fullness and speeding recovery. Your window of opportunity is open for about 30 minutes following your workout. It is in this period that you should have a post-workout shake.
SHAKE IT, BABY! The post-workout shake, as you can see, is a very important part of the bodybuilder’s diet. A shake is quick and convenient, so you have no excuse for missing this important meal. As a vital component of your shake, I would recommend somewhere in the ballpark of 25-75 grams of carbohydrates. The amount and type will depend on your gender, size, and body type. So remember, if you want to grow while staying lean, take advantage of the Anabolic Window and time those carbs!
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