Whole Food or Liquid Supplements? Which One is Better?
While it is true that, in general, a whole food diet (unbleached, untreated, unprocessed food) is best, there are times when supplements can actually be SUPERIOR to whole foods. Specifically, for post-exercise nutrition, I believe that liquid supplemental nutrition is better than eating whole foods for the following reasons.
Liquid meals are palatable and digestable:
Liquid is structurally more simple which makes absorption faster. (Liquid meals have a fast absorption profile; whole foods relatively slow.) To put this into perspective, a liquid post-exercise formula may be fully absorbed within 30 to 60 minutes, providing much needed muscle nourishment by this time. However, a slower digesting solid food meal may take 2 to 3 hours to fully reach the muscle.
Liquid meals take advantage of the “Window of Opportunity”; Whole Foods May Miss it:
The faster the protein and carbohydrates get to the muscle, the better your chances for muscle building and recovery. The recovery takes enormous amount of energy, which mainly comes from bodyfat. Therefore, you’re burning fat while building muscles. Don’t worry, at the end of the day, with only the natural amount of testosterone in your body (i.e., without hormone enhancements) no guy will end up looking like the Governator and no lady will end up looking like a man.
Liquid Meals are better for Nutrient Targeting:
During the post exercise period, specific nutrients maximize your recovery. These nutrients, in addition to an abundance of water, are mostly high glycemic index carbohydrates and certain amino acids (in specific ratios). As previously discussed, It’s also best to AVOID FAT during this time. The best way to ensure that these nutrients are present in the right amounts is to formulate a specific liquid blend. Whole foods, while great, may miss the mark.
Please refer to my previous blog on You Can’t Fully Recover Without a Recovery Drink
So, I hope to impress on everyone that this post-workout period is not a time to take lightly. Recovery Drink is not just a supplement, in fact, IT IS KEY to real success. Remember, you spend a significant amount of time working out to break down muscle for a good reason: you want it to be better adapted to future demands. You can’t expect your body to get stronger if you’re starving it of the resources it needs to build and grow.