Recover and Refuel: What to Eat After a Workout
Most people already know that athletes have to be incredibly cautious about what they eat. Snacks and meals have to be meticulously planned to ensure that the right nutrients are accessed to meet high performance goals. However, if you’re not an athlete – you still want to make sure that you’re getting the right nutrition after your workout. In general, you should be looking to achieve thirty to sixty minutes of exercises on a number of days during the week, so what should you be eating to support that level of activity?
Typically, if you already adhere to a healthy diet, and ensure that you get enough calories for energy, then you should be able to focus on your own appetite and experience to learn whether you might need to eat something different. The basic rule that should be followed most of the time is: find out what works well for you.
There are a number of advantages to learning more about how your body works, and what you need to provide it with in order to ensure it runs at optimum performance. The bottom line for fitness may seem simple enough: just eat less calories than you use – but you also need to make sure you aren’t restricting yourself from peak performance. The timing, size, and content of your post-workout meals can be essential for the recovery and rebuilding process that takes place after some hard work and exercise. Here’s what you should be drinking and eating, to grasp that body that you want.
Breaking Down Your Foods
The foods that you consume after a workout should typically contain one of four things: calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. However, it’s important to make sure that you get the right ratio of these substances, otherwise you could be ruining all of your hard work.
First of all, try to eat about 50% of the amount of calories that you burned in the workout. This means that if you burn 800 calories, you need to eat 400 calories afterwards. Don’t stress over the idea that you might be undoing the calorie-burning benefits of your fitness regime – as long as you stick to your recommended calorie range, you should be on track for your goals.
About 60% of the calories that you eat post-workout should be taken from carbohydrates. Though you might have heard otherwise, your body actually needs more carbohydrates than protein after exercise, to replace muscle fuel. However, Protein should make up about 25% of the calories you eat after your workout, as this will help to repair and rebuilt your muscles.
Fat shouldn’t play much of a role in your post-workout regime, as this won’t help your fitness endeavors much. Less than 15% of your post-workout calories should be attributed to fat.
There are a number of great foods that will help to provide you with a couple of nutrition boosts in one go.
Salmon provides you with a huge dose of protein, as well as the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3, which can help you to rebuild your muscles and improve your performance the next time you hit the gym.
Pineapple is brimming with a substance called bromelain, which is a form of natural anti-inflammatory, capable of healing sprains, swelling and bruises. These fruits are also a standout source of vitamin C, which make them excellent at repairing tissue.
Bananas count as part of the good carbohydrates that you need to pack your body with after a workout. Fast-acting, they help to restore the glycogen levels in your body, which are responsible for rebuilding damaged muscles. On top of that, you also get a healthy dose of potassium.
Eggs are about seventy calories each, and every delicious little portion comes with 6.4 grams of protein. Furthermore, eggs are actually one of the few foods in the world that naturally contain Vitamin D, which is beneficial for your body. Don’t be fooled by all the workout videos that try to convince you raw eggs are the better option though – they have no advantage over cooked eggs. In fact, cooking the eggs will allow your body to absorb twice the protein.
Kiwi’s combine significant amounts of potassium and vitamin C into one small serving. On top of that, they also provide a marvelous source of antioxidants, which can help to get rid of that uncomfortable muscle soreness that sets in after exercise.
About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.