Not all exercise is created equal. In general, the more effort it requires, the more calories (and hence, fat) you’ll burn. And while that’s common knowledge, here’s something that isn’t: what you eat after your workout also affects its fat burning potential. In fact, what you eat (or in this case, don’t eat) within two hours after exercising can have a drastic effect on its efficiency.
According to HGH Magazine, consuming fructose (e.g. an energy drink or fruit juice) within 2 hours after working out severely blunts your body’s release of Growth Hormone.
What’s the big deal, you might ask? Well, nothing… that is, if you don’t mind missing out on an additional two hours of fat burning.
Here’s a more in-depth explanation from HGH Magazine:
“A high sugar meal after working out, or even a recovery drink (containing high sugar) after working out, will stop the benefits of exercise induced HGH. You can work out for hours, then eat a high sugar candy bar or have a high sugar energy drink, and this will shut down the synergistic benefits of HGH.
… If you miss reaching HGH release during working out, you will still receive the calorie burning benefit from the workout. However, you’ll miss the HGH “synergy bonus” of enhanced fat burning for two hours after working out. This is an extremely important fact to remember if you want to cut body fat and shed a few pounds.
The University of Virginia research team demonstrated that carbohydrates are burned during exercise in direct proportion to the intensity of training. Fat burning is also correlated with intensity. However, the actual fat burning takes place after the workout, during the recovery.
This makes the “Synergy Window,” the 2-hour period after a workout, very important in maximizing HGH, once it’s released during exercise.
… If you are middle-age and want all the benefits from exercise induced HGH, then apply this strategy.”
In short, don’t reach for that energy drink (or candy bar) after your workout. In fact, don’t reach for it at all. Drink water instead and save the fruit for later. But if you must indulge, at least wait out the 2-hour window to maximize the fat burning potential of the workout. Otherwise, you’re just spinning your wheels.