(Natural News) After your workout, you need to consume food that’s rich in protein and carbohydrates, according to expert, Dr. Fernando Naclerio, principal lecturer in strength training and sports nutrition at the University of Greenwich.
Dr. Naclerio says consuming food rich in macronutrients can help athletes ensure their body’s recovery.
In particular, he emphasized the consumption of carbohydrates and protein during the post-exercise period. This time window is crucial to rebuilding muscle tissue damaged during exercise.
Dr. Naclerio believes that consuming specific nutrients after a workout will also boost athletic performance and in the process, minimize the risk of injuries.
“From this point of view, supplementation or looking for a good, high-quality multi-nutrient food would be beneficial for athletes,” he said.
Eating the right food after your workout
Exercise drains your body of glycogen – the glucose that your body stores in your bones and liver for future use. Physical activity also produces small tears and injuries in the muscles you use. After exercise, your body focuses mainly on recovering the energy it used up and on repairing torn tissue.
Repeating the cycles of injury and repair, and energy loss and recovery is ultimately what gives you better health and a stronger physique.
Eating the right food post-workout is you helping your body accomplish its immediate goals. In choosing which food to consume, here are some important facts to remember:
Your body needs carbohydrates
As previously mentioned, exercise depletes your stored glucose, which comes from carbs. How much carbohydrates you need depends on what kind of exercise you perform and how often you workout. Because endurance activities (swimming, running, etc.) consume more glycogen than resistance training (lifting weights), then endurance athletes need to consume more carbs than bodybuilders.
Moreover, the more often you exercise, the more carbohydrates you need. Therefore, if you exercise once or twice a day, you will need to eat more carbs than if you exercise every other day.
Protein repairs your muscles
Exercise breaks down the protein in your muscles and causes little injuries. Consuming food items rich in protein provides your body with the amino acids it needs to repair torn muscles and build new ones. This process is essential regardless of how experienced you are as an athlete. Even seasoned bodybuilders need a constant supply of protein to adapt and perform at their best, for example.
Fat isn’t always your enemy
A lot of negative things have been said about fat, especially when it’s consumed after a workout. While fat does slow down digestion, it does not reduce the benefits you gain from your food. In certain cases, it may even help. For instance, studies show that whole milk is better than skim milk for muscle growth. Additionally, fat is eventually stored as your body’s backup energy source so you can keep on functioning even when your main source of energy is getting low.
Do not forget water
Your body, especially your muscles, need water to function optimally. You need to keep your body hydrated, whether while you’re exercising or afterward. This ensures that you replace whatever fluids you lose. If you engage in an intense physical activity, you might also want to consider replacing your lost electrolytes with an electrolyte drink, such as young coconut water.
You don’t need to go far when looking for your post-workout meal. Great sources of carbs include:
- Whole oats
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark green leafy vegetables
For your dose of protein, you can eat:
- Greek yogurt
- Plant proteins
For your supply of fat, you can have the following:
- Whole milk
- Fatty fish
- Seeds (chia, flaxseeds, etc.)
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