Simple Carbohydrates (Post-Workout) - (Dextrose, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Waxy Maize)

Simple Carbohydrates

Numerous studies have shown that consuming simple carbohydrates, also known as high glycemic carbohydrates immediately after weight training workouts leads to faster muscle gains and workout recovery.

To avoid excessive fat gain when you’re in a mass building phase, do not consume fast digesting carbohydrates during any other time.

Go with maltodextrin, fruit juice, waxy maize starch or dextrose, as all of these are pure simple-carbohydrates.

Personally, I prefer to use dextrose powder mixed with whey protein as soon as I finish my workout. Dextrose is a simple carbohydrate that’s derived from corn and tastes a bit less sweet than sucrose or table sugar.

Simple-carbohydrates can easily be converted into body-fat if they’re not consumed around workout time. However, you shouldn’t have to worry about fat gain if you’re consuming fast digesting carbohydrates immediately post-workout as they will help your muscles recover faster from training by delivering vital nutrients (amino acids etc...) into your muscles quickly.

While you workout, your muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores are depleted. If you don’t provide your body with quick energy in the form of simple-carbohydrates after your workouts, then your body can and will use your hard earned muscle tissue for energy.

When you’re in mass gain mode, your goal is to replenish your muscle glycogen levels immediately after a heavy weight training session in order to prevent this from happening.

Hard training sessions will cause you to go into a negative nitrogen (protein) balance. By supplying your body with rapidly digesting proteins and simple-carbohydrates immediately after a workout, you will shift into a positive nitrogen balance, and like I’ve mentioned, this will prevent your body from using muscle protein for energy.

So not only do you need to consume fast digesting protein immediately after your workouts, but also a fast digesting carbohydrate source in order to shuttle vital nutrients (proteins, creatine and vitamins) into your muscles to prevent muscle wasting and to kick-start the recovery process.

Foods That Contain Simple Carbohydrates

Simple-carbohydrates are found in both solid foods and liquids such as fruit juice and soda. For muscle building and for good health and well being, the majority of your carbohydrate intake should come from complex carbohydrates and not simple carbohydrates.

Foods that contain excessive simple-carbohydrates are the ones that you shouldn’t be eating if your goal is to increase lean muscle mass and strength, as they are void of nutrients and do nothing to help you build muscle.

Food sources of simple-carbohydrates that you should mostly avoid include white bread, corn flakes, white potatoes, doughnuts, candy bars, non-diet soda, fruit juices, white pasta, baked goods and pastries.

These foods should only make up a very small percentage of your diet, even better, don’t consume them at all other than at the occasional cheat meal.

The majority of your carbohydrate intake should come from complex slow-digesting sources such as sweet potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice, fruit with skin (apples, and pears.

Fruits without skin such as bananas, pineapple, oranges and mango are ok to consume as long as you don’t eat too much of them since they do contain a lot of natural sugar from fructose.

Like mentioned, only consume simple carbohydrates immediately after your workouts to speed recovery from training, and/or before your workout if you’re doing endurance training or you perform a lot of cardio while training.

To sum up, for optimal muscle gains and faster workout recovery, I highly recommend that you supplement with a high glycemic or fast digesting carbohydrate immediately after your workouts. Depending on your bodyweight, you should consume at least 30 grams of simple carbohydrates along with your whey protein shake after workouts.

Below, I’ve listed some of the best sources of fast digesting carbohydrates to use post-workout. Click on the links to learn more about each of them.

Best Simple Carbohydrate Sources

Waxy Maize Starch

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