Whether you are just beginning a fitness regime or you are a world-class athlete, what you put in your body after your workout is as important as the exercise itself. Whatever your personal fitness goals may be, from weight-loss to building muscle, I am going to outline essential post-workout nutrition needs to keep you fueled for your next session.
What do we need?
During exercise, your body accesses the stored fuel known as glycogen to meet the demands. Right after the workout, your muscles are depleted of their energy stores, and broken down. A post workout shake or meal will help refuel your muscle and replenish energy stores. It’s very important to rebuild the muscles that were broken down during exercise in order to keep your metabolism going. A recovery shake or meal should combine protein and carbs. If I have time, a burrito or sandwich is a good post workout meal for me.
Water and Minerals
In addition to glycogen, water and minerals (sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes) are lost while we sweat. Drinking water throughout the day is very important, but it’s not enough to just drink water after a workout. Part of the post workout regime should include replacing what was lost. In addition to water, it’s also important to drink a post workout shake.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which help limit muscle breakdown and speed muscle repair. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in our muscles and bloodstream. It’s important we get enough glutamine for maintenance of muscle glutamine stores. Glutamine also assists in supporting the immune system. I add a scoop of GNC’s L-Glutamine powder into my post-workout shake or have a glutamine chew after every training session.
Your body needs nutrients as soon as possible after working out to begin the recovery process. The suggested time to consume your recovery shake or meal is within 30 minutes to an hour after your workout. The sooner you start refueling, the better off you’ll be. If you are on the go, try to bring your recovery drink to your training session, or pack something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat when you’re finished.
Increase lean muscle, burn more fat, and LIVE FIT with proper nutrition & exercise!