Why You Need To Eat Simple Carbohydrates - Fitness & Bodybuilding

Simple Carbohydrates

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You should eat simple carbs after a workout for several reasons. First, simple carbs get into your system very quickly. Second, simple carbohydrates can elicit a very strong surge of the anabolic hormone insulin. Aside from the overt anabolic effect, insulin facilitates amino acid and glucose transport into the muscles. Insulin is also involved in a mechanism known as potassium homeostasis, or stabilization of the amount of potassium in blood and muscles.

When you exercise, large amounts of potassium are dumped from the muscles into the blood. The insulin released after ingesting simple carbs will pump sodium out of muscle cells and pump the potassium back in, by way of the sodium-potassium-ATPase process. Simple carbs help drive this correcting mechanism.

Many people try to inhibit the catabolic state by taking supplements that suppress Cortisol release, but this is not the best strategy for mass gains. If bodybuilders inhibit catabolism, they won't get the quality of gains that they're seeking. They have to clear their muscles of garbage (through catabolism) for the growth (through anabolism) to work most effectively. The type of catabolism that occurs after stressing a muscle is much different from the catabolism that occurs in fasting and starvation. Exercise-derived catabolism is an important part of the total anabolic process. It's better to drive the process forward rather than try to inhibit something that occurs naturally. And that's what simple carbohydrates help your body do.

A Second Opinion

The reason for taking simple carbohydrates is to stimulate the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is the biggest anabolic hormone. It is also a storage hormone, and it pushes anything available in your blood into storage. If you have glucose available in your blood, insulin pushes it into your muscles, where it is stored as glycogen. If you have creatine available, the insulin also pushes that into the muscle cells. If you have amino acids in your bloodstream (which you should if you have frequent protein meals throughout the day), insulin is going to shoot the amino acids in and create the anabolic effect of storing the aminos in muscle cells.

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