Post-Workout Nutrition tips

Nutrition is important for the Fitness

Chances are you’ve given more thought to your Pre-Workout meal than your post-workout meal. But consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before.

After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins. If you want fast recovery, concentrate on proper after workout nutrition and give your body rest.

POST WORKOUT TIPS

Pre-Workout NutritionStay hydrated

When you exercise heavily, you lose water and salts in your sweat. Replenishing electrolytes  (potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium) during and after intense workout help with recovery and performance. If you are choosing between different energy drinks, choose one without artificial, harmful additives and if you are trying to lose weight look for less sugar content. 

I personally drink mineral waters high in above-mentioned minerals or coconut water. If you want to add some more taste, add some lemon or if you need extra carbs, add some honey or other natural sweeteners. 

  • Timing of your post-exercise meal

Your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise. For this reason, it’s recommended that you consume a combination of carbs and protein within 30 – 90 minutes after your session. However, you can extend this period a little longer, depending on the timing of your pre-workout meal.

If you are trying to lose weight, don’t skip meals. Instead, limit your portion by choosing correct plate size. In this way, you will keep your metabolism working efficiently and blood sugars  (also your mood) levelled. You will also be less likely to overeat during your next meal. 

WHICH TYPE OF MACRONUTRIENT SHALL I CONCENTRATE ON?

Protein

A workout that involves strength training can create micro-tears in your muscle tissue, it triggers the breakdown of muscle protein. After your workout, your body repairs those micro-tears so your muscles grow stronger than before, but it needs protein to do it. Why? Protein is made up of molecules called amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle.

The rate at which this happens depends on the exercise and your level of training. 

Strength, resistance training requires consumption of more amino acids compared to the cardio-vascular based training. Make sure you have plenty of protein on your plate after exercise especially if you are muscle building or if you’ve just finished a weight training session.

Carbohydrates

When you work out, your body first uses whatever sugar you have in your blood for energy. Once that’s used up, it typically relies on the glycogen—a form of sugar stored in your muscles and liver—for fuel. So if you want to work out again at some point, you need to refill the tank! 

Your post-workout nutrition helps to replenish the glycogen you depleted during exercise, which you can do by eating carbs. Both fast-digesting simple carbs and slow-digesting complex carbs will do the trick. If you’re on-the-go and need something quick, fruit (like a banana or an apple) is an easy simple carb option. Bars also come in handy in a pinch. If you have time for more of a meal, go for a complex carb like quinoa, whole-wheat bread, or brown rice.

If you participate in endurance sports (jumping, running, swimming, cycling), make sure you have plenty of carbohydrates on your plate. If you are trying to lose weight, limit your portion. Remember, excess carbs that can’t be stored in your muscles and liver will be stored in your body as fat. 

Fat

Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients. While fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits. 

It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but I never substitute for low-fat versions as these have added artificial additives that might be harmful to your body. Instead again, limit your portion.

SUMMARY

Endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen (comes from carbohydrates) than resistance training. On the other hand, protein should form a bigger portion on your plate if you are involved in weight training, building and maintaining your muscle mass.

POST-WORKOUT EXAMPLES

The primary goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the right nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximise the benefits of your workout. Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption. The following lists contain examples of simple and easily digested foods: 

POST-WORKOUT DRINKS:

POST WORKOUT SNACKS:

  • Banana, apple, dried fruit (carb-based)
  • Dark chocolate (carb-based)
  • Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans. (combination of protein and carbs)
  • Pumpkin spiced energy bar (combination of protein and carbs)
  • Tuna and crackers. (combination of protein, carbs)
  • Rice crackers (Whole grain toast) and NUT butter (combination of protein, carbs)
  • Pita and hummus  (combination of protein, carbs)
  • Cottage cheese and fruits.  (combination of protein, carbs)

POST-WORKOUT MEALS