Topics: Health & Wellness
4 Proven Post-Workout Recovery Tips (No. 3 Is A Must-Read)
Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is important for feeling your best and will help you reach your goals. Every man and woman should be active, whether it’s by playing a sport or working out regularly.
Starting a healthy diet is the first step towards a better life style. Once you add activity to that routine, eating the right nutrients after exercising is just one of several steps aiding in recovery.
Here are my 4 proven post-workout recovery tips - in particular, I think you'll find #3 to be incredibly helpful!
Tip #1: Eating After a Workout Is Important
Eating the right nutrients can really help you after exercising, and it’s very important you understand how your body is affected by physical activity. After the workout, your body will try to rebuild and repair muscle proteins and glycogen stores.
To increase the rate of this process, consuming protein and carbs after your workout session will do the trick. Additionally, it can reduce muscle protein breakdown and reduce muscle protein synthesis.
Proteins, carbs, and fat:
Let’s look at how each macronutrient like protein, carbs, and fat will help in your body’s post-workout recovery:
- Protein helps repair and build muscle
Exercising will breakdown your muscle protein. The rate at which this happens depends largely on your level of training and exercise. You need to consume adequate volumes of protein, giving your body the necessary amino acids to rebuild and repair those proteins and build new muscle tissue.
- Carbs help with recovery
During exercise, your uses glycogen as fuel. Eating carbs after your workout helps to replenish it. The amount of your glycogen stores depends on the rate of activity.
For example, endurance sports like jogging, swimming, etc. will make your body burn more glycogen than resistance training. Thus, eating more protein and carbs after every exercise can maximize glycogen and protein synthesis.
- Fat is not that bad
Most people incorrectly believe that eating fat after every workout inhibits the absorption of nutrients and slows down digestion. While it may slow down the absorption of nutrients, it doesn’t reduce the benefits. Nutritionally, you are advised to limit the amount of fat eaten after exercise, but, if some of your food contains fat, it won’t affect your recovery process.
Tip #2: The Timing of your Post-Workout Meal Matters
After exercise, your body begins rebuilding protein and glycogen. Thus, it’s advised you eat a combination of protein and carbs. Some experts recommend you eat this meal within an hour of exercising. However, this timing can be adjusted a little longer depending on your pre-workout meal.
Tip #3: The Best Foods to Eat After You Workout
The main reason you should engage in post-workout meal is to give your body the required nutrients it needs to perform at an optimal level. If you want to promote faster nutrient absorption, selecting easily digested foods is the best option.
Some of these easily digested foods include carbs such as dark, leafy green vegetables, pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, rice cakes, rice, quinoa, and fruits like berries, pineapple, banana, etc.; protein such as tuna, protein bars, salmon, chicken, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, and plant or animal-based protein powders; and fats like trail mix, nut butters, nuts, avocado, etc.
Tip #4: Sample Post-Workout Meals
A combination of some of the foods mentioned above can give your body the nutrients it needs after exercising. Here are some post-workout combinations to enjoy: cottage cheese and fruits, tuna and crackers, egg omelet with avocado, salmon with sweet potato, tuna salad sandwich with whole grain bread, peanut butter and rice crackers, protein shakes with banana, pita and hummus, and cereal with skim milk.
Additional Post-Workout Suggestions
Make sure to drink plenty of water
After your workout, make sure you drink enough water. Your body will maximize results when it’s properly hydrated. While exercising, your body loses electrolytes and water when you sweat. Replenishing them by drinking plenty of water can guarantee a better performance and recovery process.
If you plan to exercise again within the next 12 hours, it’s essential to replenish fluids. Depending on your workout, an electrolyte-filled drink or water can help replenish those lost fluids.
Applying some form of heat, like a hot towel, heating pad, or hot water bottle to sore areas enhances the flow of nutrients and oxygen to sore muscles while reducing the pain signals sent to your brain.
Muscle pain limits your movements. To avoid this, stretch as often as you can, especially before an intense workout or after sitting for a long period of time.
Fascial stretch therapy can boost your muscle recovery process, helping you perform at an optimal level. Those with mobility issues, chronic pain, or who simply want to live healthier use fascial stretch therapy.
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About the Author: Michael Morelli, Jr.
Michael Morelli, Jr. is a health and fitness enthusiast and is the founder of Morellifit. Mr. Morelli holds 5 fitness certifications, enjoys writing about training and nutrition and designing custom meal plans for his clients. You can learn more about Michael by visiting his website or following him on social media.