As much as many people may want to overlook this fact, it is important to be aware of what you put in your mouth after a workout session in order to get your desired outcome. You need to eat the right type of meals that will help replenish the lost energy and also help muscle tissues rebuild themselves. While working out, the body gets to use up stored energy while at the same time muscle tissues get damaged. A lot of fluids are also lost through sweating. Below are some of the important food groups that you should eat after a workout.
What To Eat After A Workout: Post-Workout Nutrition
Eat Foods Rich in Protein
Muscle tissues are made up of proteins; eating foods rich in proteins help muscles rebuild these tissues and cells. This makes muscles more lean, bigger and stronger.
Your workouts may become lighter in the long run, forcing you to increase the intensity of your work out. It becomes easier to reach your fitness goals since your muscles are strong enough to keep you going.
When you don’t add proteins to your diet it may become difficult to for your muscles to grow. This can make you lose a lot of lean mass and your muscles may not be strong enough. This will make you weaker and you will not be able to work out for longer and better.
While the food should be high-protein, it should be low-calorie too to make it suitable for body builders. Some fruits suitable for such diet are oats, soy, green beans, cowpea, broad beans, peas, etc. (1).
Add Fruits into The Diet
Fruits contain natural sugars that can be easily absorbed into the body helping you replenishing lost energy very fast. Making recovery after workout easier and faster. Fruits have no calories and contain a lot of fibers in them which helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Since fruits are rich in fibre, they will keep you full for longer hours and curb the hunger pangs. At the same time, they have healthy sugar and do not contribute to any harmful effect of artificial and processed sugars.
A narrative review on Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders has shown that there should be increase muscle mass without adding unnecessary body fat (2).
Fluids in fruits such as oranges or melons also help in the hydration of the body. Besides that, they contain a lot of natural nutrients which are very important in the development of the body and its immune system. Fruits are also affordable and easy to access.
[ Read: 25 Best Foods For Weight Loss ]
Add Carbohydrates to Your Diet
In excess, carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored in the body. When the body needs energy this fat is broken down and converted into glycogen which is used to fuel your body. After a workout most of the glycogen reserves in the body becomes used up.
Eating carbohydrates help in restocking up the used up glycogen. This gives you enough energy to continue working out regularly without feeling tired fast. Some good sources of carbohydrates include rice, potatoes, bread, pasta and many more.
According to a study, carbohydrate quality seems to have a more important role in population health than carbohydrate amount. A strong case can be made for consumption of high GL grains, potato products, and added sugars (especially in drinks) being causally related to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers; whereas non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, and whole kernel grains appear protective (3).
[ Read: 15 Healthy Probiotic Foods ]
Eat Foods Rich in Fats
Research shows that fat help in slowing down the digestion of food into the body. This helps your body maximize the number of nutrients being absorbed into the body. However, you should ensure that you take the right type and amount of fatty foods in order to avoid adding too much weight.
According to National Health Service, UK, if you consume high amounts of energy, particularly found in high fat and high sugar foods, and do not use all of the energy through physical activity, much of the extra energy will be stored in the body as fat (4).
Hydrate Well After Your Workout
During a workout session your body loses a lot of fluids through sweating, drinking water helps to replenish the lost water. If you don’t hydrate well your cells and muscles will lose water and you are likely to lose weight and energy.
Avoid drinking fluids that contain caffeine after working out because they encourage dehydration, instead drink plenty of water.
[ Read: High-Fiber Foods You Should Eat ]
Workouts and good dieting go hand in hand. Poor choice of what to eat before and after working out greatly affects your desired results. Whether you are aiming to lose or gain weight you need to be very smart when choosing what to eat. After a workout, the energy levels in the body go down. Eating helps you recover the used up energy.
If you skip eating your productivity goes down. The body will not have enough energy to do simple tasks. Your muscles will not repair themselves causing you to weaken and lose strength. You are likely to lose weight and body strength. Ensure you eat 30 to 40 minutes after a workout. However, you can eat a light snack such as fruit before going for heavier meals that should contain enough amounts proteins and carbohydrates.
It is said that you become what you eat. Indulging in healthy eating habits can transform you life for good. It’s not just about eating healthy pre or post workout but eating healthy throughout your life to keep diseases at bay.
1. The Research on the High-Protein Low-Calorie Food Recipe for Teenager Gymnastics Athletes- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4645922/
2. Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6680710/
3. Dietary carbohydrates: role of quality and quantity in chronic disease- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5996878/
4. Causes- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/causes/#:~:text=Obesity%20is%20a%20complex%20issue,in%20the%20body%20as%20fat
You Might Also Like: