Eating the right foods after a workout can restore your energy levels, ease fatigue, build muscles and help prepare for your next regimen. Yes, your workout doesn’t end when you finish that last lap on the track or leave the gym. A proper post-workout meal is vital for optimal health and reaching your workout goals.
Know What Nutrients You Need After a Workout
To understand how eating the right foods can help after exercise, you need to know how your body is affected by strenuous physical activity.
When you work out, your muscles consume their glycogen stores for fuel, resulting in a partial depletion of these essential sources of energy. Eating the right foods can give your body the nutrients it needs instead of using what’s already stored. These nutrients that you need after exercising include:
Protein: Eating proteins after workouts help damaged muscles heal and prevent the loss of lean mass. Proteins give the body amino acids and building blocks it needs to build new muscles. This helps with recovery.
Carbs: You need to take higher carbohydrate meals after endurance activities like running or cycling that take more than an hour. Carbohydrates enable the body to recharge and restore the fuel supply by promoting glycogen storage. Carb-rich foods also help replenish the muscle, which aids recovery.
Staying Hydrated: Staying hydrated enables that body to get the most out of workouts. Your body loses electrolytes and water through sweating, so you need an electrolyte drink to replenish potassium and sodium lost in your sweat.
Post-Workout Meal Ideas
Eating the right post-workout food can be an excellent way of maintaining good health and staying in shape. Here are some meal ideas that are vital after a workout:
Consuming whole eggs after a workout can increase muscle protein synthesis in your body. Eggs have all eight essential amino acids essential in building muscle depth and strength, recovery, and encouraging vital minerals such as iron, zinc, iron, and calcium.
The nutrient-dense snack contains high levels of plant protein, which you need to enhance recovery if you’re going hard at the gym. Peanut butter is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fat to help you stay healthy and function properly.
Smoothies can boost your energy levels and hydrate your body. You can pack your smoothie with energy-boosting add-ins such as fruits (contain simple carbs that the body absorbs quickly) and yogurt. Besides, you can make protein smoothies by adding soymilk, silken tofu, and nuts to help build your muscles.
Tuna is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins A, B-6, and B12. Besides improving your cardiovascular health, the omega-3 fatty acids in tuna can help alleviate muscle inflammation after an intense workout.
Yogurt is an ideal post-workout snack. It’s an excellent source of carbohydrates and protein, which provide your body with amino acids to enhance muscle growth.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole bread contains carbs that help fuel and replenish muscles after a workout. It also contains a small amount of protein.
How Diamond Physicians Can Help
Working out to not only makes you feel good about yourself, but it’s also key to maintaining good health. Even more importantly, the foods you eat after a workout play a significant role in your fitness. Through our Concierge medicine program, we can help you improve your fitness goals and overall health.