What is the most effective post-workout diet strategy? Lately I’ve read a few advocates of fasting after a workout so that you can get an even greater burst of human growth hormone and all the benefits that it brings. While it’s true that fasting is a way to stimulate HGH, I feel that this tactic is penny wise and pound foolish.
There are many ways to stimulate growth hormone. Vigorous exercise, fasting, sex, and certain amino acids such as arginine, glutamin and ornithine. These aminos are called secretagogues, but they have a limited effect. By far the greatest burst of growth hormone occurs in sleep, so you always want to ensure that you get enough shut-eye.
If you are deliberately starving yourself after a hard workout session you are severely hampering you body building and strength progress. Why is this so? Because the greatest need by far is the need to replenish you muscle energy (glycogen) and provide needed protein and minerals during that crucial hour or so after total expenditure. That is when they are most receptive, that is when your need is greatest.
Muscle growth is not dependent upon HGH alone. Testosterone, prostaglandins, insulin, and even lactic acid are all fundamentally involved in the muscle building/protein synthesis process. If you provide a high calorie high protein treat right after a workout you will be providing these essentials in abundance.