You are back from a fulfilling workout. Happy and tired, you won’t mind munching on some snack. That is a good idea. But what are you going to eat? Now that’s a big question. You don’t want to wash down all that hard work at the gym. For that very reason, we give you the lowdown on post workout nutrition…
But before we begin to talk about post workout nutrition, let us first find out what happens to our bodies when we exercise.
What happens to our body after a good workout:
During your daily drill, our muscles work hard to keep up with the pace. To keep going, our muscles use the stored glycogen as a fuel to push and phew. This results in depletion of muscles protein. Therefore, after a good session of exercise, the body attempts to repair the muscle proteins and build up our fuel stock, the glycogen stores. Therefore, going for carbohydrates and proteins will always be a super idea.
Why should you eat after a workout?
Your goal here is to give back to your body the nutrients which it has lost during your sweat session. Eating post workout helps the body to recover, improves your overall performance and also maximizes the benefits of a workout.
It is not necessary to feel hungry after an exercise session. That is fine. But it is wise to note that our bodies need nutrients to boost its energies and replenish used up stock. So just wait for a while but do munch on some healthy snacks later on. Remember to pick food that is easy to digest. Not eating or eating much later increases energy loss leading to binging. Ideally, you should snack 45 minutes after exercising when your body is absolutely ready to repair it and regain strength.
Carbs, boosting up your stock:
Remember your glycogen back up. It is here that you need to fill up the ‘half- full’ tank of glycogen stores that your body has utilized at the sweat session. So a combo of carbs and protein speeds up the process. But remember, more of carbs and less of protein would be your ideal intake.
The foods that you can enjoy after a workout are:
- Mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes
- Pasta, rice
- Sweet potatoes or our regular potatoes
- Fruits (banana, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi)
- And the newer addition to our kitchen shelves, quinoa
You may have wondered about protein shakes that fitness fanatics guzzle. So here is the answer your question. Consuming protein after exercising offers your body the amino acid it requires to rebuild muscle protein. It also serves as an element for formation of new muscle tissues. About an average of 35 grams of protein is a standard amount you should ingest to help your body recover. So make yourself a glass full of protein shake or whey protein and drink it up. You can add fruits or nuts of your choice to give it an interesting touch. If you are out of your powder then go for…
- Milk, Cheese or Greek yoghurt
- Eggs served in any way will be just perfect
- Salmon or chicken
- Protein bar
- Whole grain cereal
Fat is fit: Healthy fat, please
Many people think that eating fat when you are trying to slim down is a big no. But we are talking about healthy fats which will give you benefits. Though it is fine to control the amount of fat you ingest, having some fat after your sweat session can help to repair muscle protein.
- Dark chocolate
- Fatty fish
- Nuts, dry fruits
- Butter made of nuts like peanut butter and like
- Proper intake of nutrients and water replaces electrolyte and fluid loss.
- It is important to drink water after your exercise. This will ensure that you are properly hydrated and will replace what was lost sweating it while pumping iron.
- The rate at which your glycogen is utilized depends on the type of your fitness routine. If you are into endurance activity such as swimming or running, you might need to consume a good amount of carbs. Eating enough carbs is essential for people who exercise a lot.
- Consuming a proper amount of carbs and protein after exercise is important. Even if you don’t get hungry after a workout, it’s best to go with a carbs+protein combo within 2 hours of exercising.
A token rider: Consult your nutritionist or dietician if you are on a special diet.