Whether what you’re looking to achieve through your performance goals is fat loss, toning, muscle gain, or all of the above, your body needs the proper recovery period that follows your workout is a crucial part to achieving your goals. Nutrition is 80% of the battle, and the key to your success.
Glycogen is the sugar in our bodies that is stored in our muscles and liver, which are metabolized from the carbohydrates we consume throughout the day. During weight resistance or aerobic sessions which last less than two hours, glycogen is the primary fuel used by your body during this training. The human body can only store approx. 200-500 grams of glycogen (800-2000 calories), which makes it possible to burn through most or all of your glycogen during an intense 60-90 minute workout.
When you don`t have enough glycogen stored in your body during a workout, your body goes into a catabolic (muscle wasting) state, which uses muscle to feed your body`s metabolism and need for energy. In time, the overall result is a smaller version of you with higher fat to lean muscle tissue ratio, which likely isn`t what you want. The decrease in muscle lowers your metabolic rate, which makes it more difficult to burn calories and lose fat.
DID YOU KNOW?
Glycogen must be present and available to burn fat. If you haven’t eaten properly before your workout and stored enough glycogen to sustain the workout, your body will convert the muscle into glycogen. Less muscle means lower metabolism.
Drinking a high glycemic drink right after a workout, with a 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to proteins, all these sugars are aimed to your muscle fibres, not to your hips or love handles. Remember, glycogen is stored in your muscles, not in your fat.
Once glycogen is in your muscle cells, recovery will begin and you can begin to rebuild a stronger, leaner you! Even if you`re just trying to burn fat, replacing the sugars you burned will enable your body to keep your metabolism going by keeping your hard earned muscle.
Remember, nutrition is critical to optimized recovery! Consuming an equal amount of calories than used during your workout, to 10% more calories is the important first step to recovery. EAT WELL!