If you’re someone who works hard at the gym then you know what it’s like to put so much effort in to try and accomplish your goals. While you probably spend your time thinking about what to eat before you train hard, have you ever thought about what to eat afterward? You may not have given it any thought, but consuming the right nutrients after a workout can be even more important.
The Importance Of Eating After You Workout
First things first, the most important thing you can learn to help your body improve after a workout is to know how your body is impacted by physical exercise. While you work out, your muscles utilize their glycogen stores for energy. This causes some of the proteins in your muscles to break down. Post-workout, your body is working to rebuild the glycogen stores and repair your muscle proteins. This can work faster if you provide your body with the right nutrients immediately after a workout!
But What Should You Eat?
As we mentioned, exercise causes your muscle protein to breakdown and the rate that this happens is dependent on your type of exercise and level of training. If you feed your body with the right amount of protein after you exercise than you will feed your body the number of amino acids it requires to repair these proteins. It also creates a foundation for fresh muscle tissue.
Carbs can also be great after a workout since your body’s glycogen stores are used up during physical activity. Carbs can refuel them, but this mostly depends on what kind of exercise you’re engaging in. For example, swimmers would need more carbs than bodybuilders.
You may have this preconceived idea that all fat is bad, but this is not true. It may be true that fat slows down the digestion of post-workout meals, it does not lessen the benefits.
We have already established that a post-workout meal is complete when combined with protein, carbs, and fats. It is recommended to eat your post-workout meal within at least 45 minutes. It was even found that if you delay your consumption of carbs, even two hours, post-workout, then you may have a 50% lower rate of glycogen synthesis.