Let’s be clear here. Working out is hard! Whether you’re hitting the gym a couple times a week, just joined a run club, or chasing a certain time at the triathlon, being physically active gets you out of your comfort zone and is one of the most rewarding things at the same time. Replenishing muscle glycogen post-workout is crucial if you don’t want to be “hitting a wall” in your workout routine. When you don’t consume adequate carbohydrates, a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis becomes more predominant. Always wanted to know how that works? Let’s talk about it!
What is Gluconeogenesis?
Gluconeogenesis (gloo-ko-nee-oh-JEN-ih-sis) This word is a mouthful. Let’s break it down: Gluco – glucose, sugar. Done! Neo – new...makes sense, right? Genesis – origin, beginning, making… Got it? So if you add up those three words you get an idea that that it has something to do with the making of new sugar.
Now let’s rewind a few steps and talk about our energy metabolism. When being physical active, we burn fuel. Depending on the intensity and length of the workout, you burn glucose and fat. Glucose is hereby the preferred source of fuel for our body.
Picture yourself after a medium to long workout. Our genius body uses the liver’s stored glycogen, and fatty acids from the adipose tissue’s stored fat. These provide you with energy. It’s important to note that our brain exclusively runs on glucose (a simple sugar or monosaccharide). So, if there isn’t sufficient glucose available in your blood, our kidneys and liver are able to produce glucose from non- carbohydrate sources such as amino acids or glycerol Pelley, J.W., Elsevier’s Integrated Review Biochemistry (Second Edition), W.B. Saunders (2012) 8 – Gluconeogenesis and Glycogen Metabolism (pp. 67-73). https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-07446-9.00008-8.. This process is called gluconeogenesis.
How to Take Care of Your Sore Muscles Like a Pro
Long story short, when you empty your tank you have to make sure to refill it (a.k.a replenish your muscle glycogen). Research shows that an effective way to replenish glycogen after a workout is by consuming a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein after the workout. Kerksick, C. M., Arent, S., Schoenfeld, B. J., Stout, J. R., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C. D., Taylor, L., Kalman, D., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Kreider, R. B., Willoughby, D., Arciero, P. J., VanDusseldorp, T. A., Ormsbee, M. J., Wildman, R., Greenwood, M., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Aragon, A. A., ... Antonio, J. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 33. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4Rustad, P. I., Sailer, M., Cumming, K. T., Jeppesen, P. B., Kolnes, K. J., Sollie, O., ... Jensen, J. (2016). Intake of Protein Plus Carbohydrate during the First Two Hours after Exhaustive Cycling Improves Performance the following Day. PloS one, 11(4), e0153229. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153229Berardi, J. M., Noreen, E. E., & Lemon, P. W. (2008). Recovery from a cycling time trial is enhanced with carbohydrate-protein supplementation vs. isoenergetic carbohydrate supplementation. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5, 24. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-24 I’m talking simple sugars combined with protein. A great source for simple sugars are fresh or dried fruit. If there only was a powder that contained exactly that! Oh wait, there is: Vega Sport Recovery.
Feeling like a snack rather than liquid post-workout? Make sure to check out our delicious post-workout recovery recipes. I’m talking chocolate covered strawberry recovery smoothie, coconut chocolate chip recovery smoothie, and my personal fave: post-workout recovery pudding.
Then, after applying the “first-aid band aid” for glycogen replenishment, let’s take care of your muscle protein synthesis. Eat a variety of protein-containing foods, like sprouted organic soy (tofu or tempeh), beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Beck, K. L., Thomson, J. S., Swift, R. J., & von Hurst, P. R. (2015). Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery. Open access journal of sports medicine, 6, 259-67. doi:10.2147/OAJSM.S33605 Don’t forget to check out Vega Sport Performance Protein, which helps build muscle and aids recovery due to ingredients like, tart cherry.
Keep in mind that many factors (such as sleep, stress coping activities, stretching, hydration, massages, cryotherapy, and so on) are crucial for recovery Dupuy, O., Douzi, W., Theurot, D., Bosquet, L., & Dugué, B. (2018). An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in physiology, 9, 403. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00403.
What are you waiting for!? For a speedy recovery treat yourself to a massage, make sure to get enough sleep, and sip a delicious recovery smoothie to fuel those sore muscles of yours.