Oftentimes workout is just not enough. Gaining muscles is hard and time-consuming, but it can get a lot more productive when combined with the right diet. Whole foods or supplements can help you achieve your goal and pump your reservoirs to the fullest. Here are some tips for post-workout nutrition depending on what you want to achieve.
During the exercise, the blood level of sugar drops and fuels storages get emptied. As many of us exercise to lose weight, sugar drops are not the way to go, so after every training, you should help your body replenish your glycogen stores. Depending on the type of sports, carb drops are different in levels. For example, running and swimming can use more carbs than bodybuilding. So make sure you accommodate your nutrition to your training type. The recommended amount of carbs is 0.5-0.7 grams per pound (1.1-1.5 grams per kg) and the time frame after the workout is 30 minutes. This will help your body synthesise the glycogen properly. For insulin secretion, for example, it is better to combine carbs with proteins at the same time for the best result. The best proportion is the ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) for a winning combination.
Whole foods containing the highest amount of carbs are:
- Sweet and regular potatoes
- Rice and rice products
- Milk and chocolate milk
- High-sugar levelled fruit (banana, pineapple, kiwi, berries)
- All kinds of pasta
It is well known that protein input after a workout helps build muscles. This is the case since during the exercise, your muscles use up their glycogen stores and some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged. So to repair that, our body tries to rebuilt glycogen stores and repair those broken muscle proteins. This is why protein meal after a workout will benefit your body multiply.
The recommended amount of protein is 0.14-0.23 grams per pound of your body (0.3-0.5 grams/kg). Studies have shown that ingesting 20-40 grams of protein helps maximize the body’s ability to recover after a workout. Don’t exaggerate with the amount since more isn’t better in this case. A heavier dose can indicate some complications in people with kidney problems. The time frame is not that strict, but it is for the best to ingest proteins in the first 45 minutes after the exercise.
Proteins come in different forms and as part of different products, so you can choose the ones you prefer. Some of the whole foods containing high levels of proteins are:
- Cheese (cottage cheese)
- Tuna fish
- Greek yoghurt
Some studies have shown that ingesting protein powder or protein bars help your body absorb proteins faster than from whole foods. It is also more easy to measure the exact amount of ingested proteins by using dry protein powder in a shake. But not all protein powders are good for everyone. There are an animal and plant-based powders, so for those who prefer plant-based ones, there is broad diapason of vegan protein samples to choose from.
When people hear fat, most of them have the bad connotation. But that is not at all true. Like everything else, fat is bad for our body if we exaggerate and don’t follow it with the proper exercise. But fats are essential for our normal functioning, and the lack of healthy fats can cause some organ dysfunctions and over years more serious problems. Ingesting fats may slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, but it will not reduce its benefits. Controlled ingestion of fat after a workout will not harm your diet and recovery.
Some nutrients first in healthy fats are:
- Nuts and their butter
- Dried fruits
- Dark chocolate
After all of this, do not forget to stay hydrated. Sufficient amount of water is more important than any other nutrient levels. Balancing meals before and after a workout will make you more healthy in the long run. We are what we eat, so don’t forget to pay enough attention to what you are ingesting on daily basis.