Do you want the edge in natural bodybuilding?
Do you want to maximum muscle gains from your post-workout nutrition?
Of course you do, so does everyone else. That’s why supplement companies thrive selling you crap you don’t need.
The bodybuilding market is a gullible one; promises of overnight success sweep people into buying trances, leaving them with smaller wallets, not smaller waistlines.
The small number of supplements that work are to be recommended but please understand that supplements are supplementary; supplementary to a great bodybuilding diet and workout plan.
Of all the mythology that surrounds the bodybuilding industry, one thing is readily agreed upon; the period post-workout is a golden opportunity for muscle growth. At this time, muscles are primed for the uptake of nutrients so here’s a guide on exactly how to feed them.
First and foremost you need some protein post workout. Amino acids are also great; either one will do the trick but I personally have always stuck to Whey Protein Isolate.
Protein is the ‘building block’ of muscle. After a workout protein-synthesis is elevated and it’s your job to supply the body with what it needs to carry out this task effectively. The body wants to adapt to the stress you’ve just put it under and it needs protein to do this. Shoot for 40-50 grams of Whey Protein Isolate.
How much protein do you need per day to build muscle? See here.
Fast Carbs / Glucose / Dextrose
So much emphasis is placed on the importance of post-workout carbs. If you adapt the MuscleHack Anabolic Nutrition Strategy (MANS) you will want to keep post-workout carbs low or do without them altogether. This is because post-workout carbs in high amounts blunt the growth hormone release that should naturally be occurring at this time.
As stated in my article on the ultimate bodybuilding diet, as insulin levels increase, both growth hormone and testosterone levels decrease. This is bad news for the bodybuilder and something to be avoided.
For the fat-adapted person i.e. someone who’s body burns fat as its primary source of energy like those on a low-carb diet, protein can and should be used here to increase insulin at this time. Protein is perfect for the job because, not only will it not make you fat, it actually plays a role in increasing growth hormone, testosterone and IGF-1 at the same time as insulin, try getting your post-workout carbs to do that!
Worried about depleted muscle glycogen stores? Any carbs that your body feels it needs will be supplied by the manufacture of carbohydrates from protein, a process known as gluconeogenesis.
Remember you will have your weekly carb-up to supercompensate musclce glycogen levels; reaping the anabolic properties of insulin without its lipogenic effects.
So, for fat-adapted bodybuilders, ditch carbs altogether from your post-workout anabolic shake.
For those on high-carb diets, use the following formula:
0.8 x lean bodyweight in kilograms (Kg = pounds /2.2)
A 150lb man with 10% body fat carries 15 lbs of fat. His lean body weight is therefore 135 lbs which equals 61.36 kg.
61.36 x 0.8 = 49.09 grams of carbohydrate.
Ah one of the few supplements that actually work. Again it’s pretty much universally agreed that creatine is a great product. Creatine supplementation increases the amount of creatine phosphate in muscle tissue. Creatine phosphate replenishes ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which acts as a quick energy source for activities that require quick bursts of energy e.g. weight lifting.
Take 5 grams of creatine post-workout in your shake.
This amino acid is so important to bodybuilders. Intense workouts like ‘MuscleHack 8-12 | 6-9‘ deplete the body of glutamine and so you’ll be more susceptible to muscle breakdown (catabolism) without it.
The amount of glutamine within muscle governs protein synthesis rates and so I believe it’s critical for building maximum muscle.
If you want to optimize your muscle gains, don’t go another day without supplementing with L-Glutamine.
Your Post-Workout Shake
So here’s how your post-workout shake should look
- 40-50 grams of Whey Protein Isolate
- 0 grams carbs
- 5 grams of Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
- 5 grams of L-Glutamine
I look forward to hearing your results with this potent anabolic post-workout shake.
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Good post Mark and Happy New Year bro! Have you read Anthony Colpo when he goes into glycogen replenishing PWO carbs? I’m wondering because I don’t like to carb-load for two days, even though thousands of folks have gotten results following a MANS approach, so it obviously works. I guess I’m wondering since I don’t do carb-loading days and take in close to 60g PWO carbs, which in theory, is sucked up into the muscle and does not go to fat storage. Anthony has the studies on his site; however, I’m not mentioning this as one is right and the other is wrong. On the contrary, I’m really wondering about the timing and spacing of eating carbs. You know what? After I complete my 12 week workout cycle, which I’m starting next week, I’ll take a month or two off from heavy training and start back with the more traditional BB carb-load days program like your MANS plan to answer the question for myself. Thanks for the post and getting my brain up and running this morning!
Happy new year man!
Great to hear your going to give MANS a go, I think you’ll love the results if you want to build some muscle up.
Firstly, Anthony’s approach will work great as well. When consuming 60-100 grams of carbs per day, you must do this every day – no high carb days.
On MANS, you consume the lowest possible carbs for at least 5.5 days (for me around 25 – 30 grams) then carb up for, at most, 1.5 days – lately I’ve been doing a 24-30 hr carb-up.
I believe this approach, higher fat, lower carbs, for most of the time, results in a greater release of growth hormone, testosterone and IGF-1. The insulin spike one a week supercompensates muscle glycogen and you reap the anabolic effects of insulin without the lipogenic effects.
Bear in mind that you should find your own daily carb level, it could be very low or higher than 30grams per day, start low though and if you’re fine (your workouts are progressively productive) then stay low.
At the weekends you’ll gain water and smooth out a little, don’t panic, you lose it by Tuesday or so again. You’ll go through this cycle every week. Measure your progress, I’m sure you’ll love it J .
Great to see you’re hitting the weights, you’ll be doing the ‘8-12 | 6-9’ workout plan won’t you? 😉
Let me know how it goes and if you need any more advice Muata.
I am very much conscious about trying these supplements. Some says Glutamine doesn’t work and some says there is side effect of using Creatine like if you don’t take it after using it for some 4 months; you might observer sharp decrease in energy level and appearance. I was thinking whether it is possible to build without usage of these supplements. My big worry is that since I am going to go back to India soon and I dont think so its possible to get such kinds of supplements as easy, safe and inexpensive the way I could get in US.
I was just browsing your current update where I saw your article “Build Muscle with this Free Workout Plan” and thought of changing my routine according to this. At the same time I was going thru your article where you have mentioned about Post-workout shake there you have mention about creatine, glutamine… I normally take around 90gms of protein thru milk, buttermilk, Whey protein shake, pulses, etc… I make sure that I hit around 100 gm the day I workout but other days I don’t care much about my protein intake.
1) Is it must to hit for 146gms of protein as I weigh 146 lb everyday no matter I hit gym or no?
2) Is it must to take supplements that you mentioned such as Glutamine and Creatine?
If you follow my MANS approach to nutrition, you can have low protein days when you carb up.
If you follow a higher carb diet, you don’t need to take quite as high protein on non-workout days, aim for 80 – 100 grams at least though.
Yes you certainly can build an impressive physique without any supplements whatsoever. A great bodybuilding diet (MANS is the best) is the most important thing, supplements are only ever supplementary 😉
I would still recommend creatine and glutamine for that extra edge but don’t let it put you off getting the body of your dreams just because these supplements aren’t readily available.
Thanks for stopping by,
Since how long you have been using creatine and glutamine and did you had any negative side effects that were serious?
No side effects whatsoever, not even mild ones. I’ve never came across anyone who has either.
There are a lot of opinions on post-workout nutrition and it seems I’ve tried them all. I’ve experienced the most growth once I stopped eating anything immediately after working. About a 2 hrs later I eat a fatty hi-protein food like steak or ground beef as described by Dr. Eades:
“You don’t need protein immediately after a strength training workout, but you need carbs even less. As you workout, you breakdown muscle tissue and release amino acids back into the amino acid pool. They are reharvested to repair the muscle as needed. But since part of the repair process is to make the muscle larger and/or more dense, extra amino acids are ultimately required. One of the things that stimulates the growth of muscle tissue is the growth hormone released during strenuous training. If you down a high-carb snack or drink immediately after your workout, it is adios growth hormone. Carbs basically shut off the release of this important hormone, so if you’re going to eat immediately after a workout, eat fat and protein. Fat and protein provide the immune support to heal the muscle and provide the raw materials for growth. Last time I checked there wasn’t a whole lot of carbohydrate in the muscle structure.”
Your blogs have been very educational and a fun read… keep it up.
Mark , good evening . How soon after taking my post work out protein shake can I eat any food? I know you have said to wait an hour before having a monster shake but can I eat anything inbetween? Thanks .
Hey Mark, just wanted to know about the creatine. You say 5g of it, and in one scoop it is 44g, but only 5g of actual creatine. So do you take one scoop or do you have just a little bit so that the whole amount is equal to 5g? Also, it says that there is 33g of carbs in one scoop, and i eat on the MANS diet as of course you do, so that would be a huge addition to daily carbs with just that one scoop of creatine. Please let me know because i am not taking it until i know what you do.
Brendan, you haven’t stated what it is you are taking that has all those carbs.
Anyway, I don’t like those sort of supplements. I just buy pure creatine monohydrate. If you want to take it, then you’ll need 1 full scoop to provide 5 grams of creatine.
It may be better to save this for your carb-up period.
One thing everyone seems to be missing is that carbs are useful after a workout. stimulation of insulin activates the PI3K pathway. A protein within this pathway (Akt) activates MTOR and also allows activation of another enzyme that BOTH stimulate protein synthesis. Insulin also appears to promote protein synthesis by aiding the amino acids entry into cells.
The post workout nutrition here is for a MANS type diet where the carb load is kept to a certain time of the week.
Well Mark, brill site. How would you make this shake, like in another article about the Monster Whey Protein Shake it tells you how to make the shake, it gives the instructions on how to make it. How would you go about it with These post workout shakes?
shot! Marky Mark you the man! I am telling alot of people about your website and i’m going to promote your website on notice boards around my town. Hope this helps! thanks my bro!
I’d really appreciate that man.
Thanks for your help 🙂
Hey, i just stumbled on the site, and i am new at developing my own post workout shake. I’ve been used to using an ‘all-in-one’ shake which has everything in it. Only thing is, is that it’s quite pricey, so I’d thought I’d have a go myself. here’s my plan: (i weigh apporx 75kg, and am 5’10”)
40g whey isolate
10g creatine ethyl ester
(i was considering using scivation xtend [13g] instead of glutamine and bcaa)
What do you think? Is there anything I’m missing or have too much of? Also if you could let me know whether to take the xtend or not.
I appreciate your help
Hey Mark I’m a fairly new weightlifter and can’t really get ahold of all these ingredients. Are there any brand muscle drinks(muscle milk, etc.) you would suggest?
Hey mark, if my 100% Whey Optimum Nutrition Powder already has 4 grams of glutamine and I take it like twice on my training days, pre and post workout, do i still need to buy a L-glutamine supplement?
Creatine and glutamine together? Uh no, that’s not right.
I’m assuming this is the ‘receptor myth’.
Creatine and glutamine use completely different receptors, there is no such competition. Great supplements separate and together.
Do i only take Creatine & Glutamine after workouts or can i take it before.
What do you recommend?
Best website ever maaan!
Glutamine, post workout and bedtime
Creatine, post workout.