Fit 4 Life | Eating for results and recovery
AFTER A killer workout, it's easy to think your work is done, but the end of a workout only signals the time for the next step on your fitness journey – recovery.
Among the most important elements for ensuring smooth recovery and reaping the results of your hard work, proper nutrition stands tall. Exercise depletes stores of glycogen and breaks down muscle protein, so post-workout meals should replenish energy stores and repair muscles.
Ignoring post-workout nutrition could hurt the results you seek as well as your performance in subsequent workouts; you could even find yourself losing muscle.
Post-workout nutrition should focus mainly on proteins and carbs. While complex carbohydrates are preferred for pre-workout nutrition, a post-workout meal should focus on fast-digesting proteins and moderate- to high-glycemic carbs – these are simple and easy to digest in order to create an insulin response to facilitate muscle recovery and growth.
Proper workout nutrition:
• Cuts muscle protein breakdown.
• Boosts muscle protein growth.
• Restores glycogen stores.
• Facilitates recovery.
TIMING IS KEY
When it comes to workout nutrition, time is the master. It is recommended to have protein and carbs as soon as possible after your workout – ideally with 45 minutes.
This meal should focus on fast-digesting carbs and proteins. Follow this up with a balanced meal focused on wholesome foods to ensure other nutrients such as vitamins are also replenished.
Exercise breaks down muscle protein. This is true even for well-trained persons and varies based on the type of training and other factors. Post workout protein provides the building blocks for repair and new growth in the form of amino acids.
Consume up to 0.3g to 0.5g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight as soon as possible after a workout.
After depleting energy stores in a workout, carbohydrates help restore them.
The amount of carbs used up in exercise varies based on the type of activity and as such the amount you need after will differ as well.
Endurance activities tend to leave you needing more carbs than resistance training. Post workout carbs is most effective when it is consumed along with protein, as the pairing maximises protein and glycogen synthesis. Post workout carbs are especially important for people workout very often, for example, twice a day.
Limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but having some fat in your post-workout meal will not diminish your recovery or hurt your results.
As with pre-workout nutrition, it is important to get adequate hydration. During exercise, you lose water and electrolytes. Replenishing these after a workout facilitates recovery.- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach. Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org