High intensity game play uses stored carbohydrates from the muscles and liver. It is important to get carbohydrates into the muscles and liver after a game to prepare for the next game, practice, or workout. An optimal time to do so is right after a game – there is an optimal 3-hour window actually. The post-game snack or drink should have carbohydrates and protein.
Physiology of a post-game snack
During a game, carbohydrates and blood sugar are used to provide energy to the muscles (and brain) for fast, high intensity muscle contractions. Even if proper 24-hour, and 3-4 hour pre-game meals have been eaten, the stored carbohydrates and blood sugar get decreased because of high intensity work during the game. Although the carbohydrates and blood sugar are not completely depleted, they are reduced to the point of needing to get “filled up” again.
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