Carbohydrate Replenishment After Workout

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Why do we have only 1 hour window period to consume carbohydrates for the maximum replenishment of glycogen stores after exercise?

Carbohydrates are the energy supply of the body. During exercise the body uses this energy which causes weight loss. The body also uses nutrients which need to be replaced for the specific bodily functions to be maintained and for the improvement of health.

Workouts are strenuous on the body and therefore recovery time is required. After exercise there is a window period of one hour in which carbohydrates have to be replenished for an increase in glycogen stores in the muscles. After a strenuous workout, the skeletal muscle recovers within 48 hours if the carbohydrates are replenished and the glycogen stores in the muscles are increased.

Any carbohydrates consumed during the one hour window period after exercise will be converted to muscle glycogen three times faster than what it would normally be converted. The replenishment of carbohydrates makes the workout better and does not only help with the replenishment of the glycogen stores of the previous workout, but also helps if exercise will be done soon after.

Many people would think that low GI carbohydrates are good for the body and high GI carbs are bad, but they actually work the other way around, High GI carbs are good because they cause a spike which only lasts for about an hour whereas with low GI carbs the body’s insulin and blood sugar levels remain high for hours. When consuming low GI carbs, at night especially, the growth hormone in the body release is disrupted. Growth hormone is a powerful fat burner and lean tissue builder which is only released about two hours after the body’s insulin and blood sugar levels return to normal. Therefore with low GI carbs, the release of this hormone only occurs at later stage than with high GI carbs.
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