When working out our body requires a great amount of energy to perform well and this primarily depends on your pre and post workout meals. Whatever you may have consumed would be the source of your energy and it is important that thought is given into your pre and post workout meals
Importance of eating after a workout
After an intense workout, body needs to recover its blood glucose level as glycogen stored is broken down during the workout. Nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins help the body boost its recovery and repair the muscles that were broken down during the workout. It is important to properly hydrate and refuel your body after a workout to improve future performance.
Eating the right nutrients helps ensure endurance during your workouts and boosts the efficiency aswell. It is important to be mindful of your post workout meals as this helps prevent muscle breakdown, stores glycogen and enhance recovery.
Getting proper nutrition restores energy levels and reduces fatigue which helps strength building for your upcoming workouts
During workouts glycogen stores are depleted so to provide fuel during exercise. Carbohydrates help recharge the body by balancing the blood sugar level. It is often said that more the activity greater the glycogen stores are depleted. Endurance sports such as running require more glycogen than resistance training. Endurance sports require more carbs.
During exercise muscle proteins are broken down. The intense the training the more muscle break down. Consuming protein in your post workout meals would ensure proper recovery and build up on the existing muscles. As protein has amino acids that help build up and repair the muscle proteins. Protein intake would help prevent loss of lean mass and make the body more toned.
Well this is the controversial one, many people think fat is bad and not to be consumed after a workout but that is not the case. Just because fat slows down digestion and absorption of nutrients does not prove that it should not be incorporated in your diet. The speed of digestion isn’t considered important anymore but calories and amount of nutrients provided are. Hence fat should also be consumed in moderate amounts along with carbs and protein
Does the timing of your post workout meal matter?
Eating after a workout is very important as your body needs to refuel and food aids in recovery of muscles. It is highly recommended to eat within an hour of your workout this is called nutrient timing. Consume a meal that contains a combination of 2 or 3 macronutrients. The timing doesn’t have to be exact but it should not exceed than 2 hours, as the body wouldn’t be able to synthesize glycogen to its peak levels. For those who are trying to lose weight it is essential that you have a pre and post workout meal. A post workout meal rich in protein is equally important for those trying to gain muscles
Food to eat after your workout
Consuming carbohydrates is the best way to restore your energy levels and replenish glycogen stores.
Oatmeal, rice, pasta are some of the grains you can consume. Quinoa is also a great option as it has a low glycemic index. Banana, kiwi, mangoes, oranges are high in carbs and will help with your blood sugar levels. Corn, sweet potato, potato, beetroots and green leafy vegetables are also a good source of carbohydrates.
Protein helps with muscle rebuilding.
Chicken, tuna, eggs, salmon can be used in your meal along with grains and pasta. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese can be eaten on its own or paired with fruits and granola. Protein powders and protein bars are also a good on the go snack for those who can’t go home after their workout or they simply don’t want to cook anything.
Nuts and nut butters are good source of fats. Avocados are also a perfect breakfast food for those people who exercise in the morning
Post workout meals
- Omelet with toast
- Nut butter and toast
- Cottage cheese with fruits
- Grilled chicken with veggies
- Oatmeal with nut butter and banana
- Pita and hummus
- Chicken egg fried rice
- Protein shake
- Salmon with rice and sweet potato
- Ricotta cheese with berries or banana
- Greek yogurt with berries
Drinking plenty of water
Staying hydrated is the key as during workouts. Drink plenty of water before and after your workout
During exercise you lose water and electrolytes through sweat so it is important that you are properly hydrated. This would enhance your performance and maximize results.