Imagine for a moment you are in a futuristic “Fitness Bar”. Now that is no ordinary bar or tavern that serves up concoctions to inebriate senses. No, this is the place where all the hard work and dedication that takes place in the gym gets their rewards. It is the place where your muscles get so pumped with nutrients that you can actually feel them bursting with energy substrates to fuel awe-inspiring workouts and forge fresh, new brands of cold-hard steel. It is the ultimate recovery zone; in fact, the only cover charge for this saloon is a stamp from your gym verifying that you have just blown the roof off the place with another wicked workout. In this bar, the “menu” contains all of the latest nutrients science has deemed appropriate to maximise post-exercise recovery.
Sounds strange, right? Yes, as far as we know, many gyms and health food stores do have juice bars, but you will see that most of them do not offer the comprehensive list of super-charged ingredients that our “virtual” bar does.
Hello, What Will You Have?
We know that if we were to ask a group of experienced athletes what they would order in our futuristic lounge to maximise post-exercise recovery, it is likely that few would know where to begin. That is because even experienced athletes usually do not have the time to keep up with all of the latest discoveries in performance nutrition. Therefore, for the purpose of this three-part article, we will serve as your “fitness bartender” or host, if you will. While you are here, we will reveal all the latest information necessary to build heroic post-exercise recovery cocktails and put you on the path to superior workouts, gains in lean muscle mass and a sharper definition.
Now, this does not mean that after our first visit you can throw caution to the wind and neglect other key aspects of your nutrition program. What you will learn is that proper training creates an environment post exercise that is simply primed for high-tech nutrition and attention to this critical aspect of your diet can be the difference between success and failure.
This Ain’t No Happy Hour
Before we disclose what our maximum post-exercise recovery cocktail can do for you, allow us to tell you what it cannot do. This is our way of getting acquainted with you before we let the cocktails flow.
First of all, even if you consistently slug down post-exercise brews that are literally perfect in design, they will not be able to overcome the lack of sleep, eating just “three squares a day” or trying to exercise beyond your current diet plan. The last issue is probably the least understood factor and, as such, deserves a brief explanation. Imagine for a minute that your goal is to lose excess body fat, which has caused you to lower your overall calories and possibly carbohydrates. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Well, let us warn you that this is only part of the stress many fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders place on their recovery ability. The other critical factors are training volume and frequency.
The Problem With Diets
You see, many misguided trainees, in an attempt to maximise the fat-burning effects of their diet, also ramp up the amount of work they do in the gym simultaneously. You have probably done this yourself (we know we have!) because this is really quite a common mistake. However, aggressively cutting calories through diet and then exercising excessively usually creates an entire program to fail because the athlete starts withdrawing too much fats from their stored energy bank. The net result is a recovery deficit that only ends when you either up your calories or later your exercise routine.
This problem is not earmarked just for dieters. Over the years, we have seen many athletes, in an attempt to gain size, go on the comical buffet-style feeding frenzy diet. The consequences here are that the athlete puts too much body fat too fast, which again causes undue stress to their system. Just ask yourself how can your body focus on recovery when your digestive system is still trying to make mulch out of all those unnecessary calories? The answer is it cannot because it has too much garbage-collecting going on, making the athlete lethargic, lazy and unproductive in the gym. Not to mention making it just that much harder to get into good condition once all that new muscle mass, if any, is attained. So always make sure your base diet is reasonably in line with your exercise program. Stated any other way, do not expect maximum recovery if you constantly employ the sins of a bad overall diet.
Now, please understand that we do not expect your base diet to be perfect, but do not blame us if your diet is totally out of sync. The guidelines are simply these: If you feel drained in the gym, either adjust your calories, especially the carbs, up slightly or decrease the amount of calories you expend from exercise. If you are gaining body fat too quickly, either adjust your calories, especially from carbs, downward slightly or increase the amount of work you do as exercise.