During exercise, your body uses glycogen (the fuel stored in your muscles) for energy. After you’ve finished with your last rep, your muscles are depleted of their glycogen stores and muscle tissue is broken down. As per the best dietitian in Delhi, When it comes to nutrition after the workout, consuming something that combines both protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to an hour after the workout replenishes energy stores, while building and repairing muscles that were broken down, and helps keep your metabolism burning strong.
The sooner you start to refuel, the better off you’ll be. Evidence from research shows that your body’s ability to refill muscle stores gets reduced by 50 percent if you wait to eat just two hours after your workout compared to eating right away. Make sure to plan ahead of time and carry your recovery drink to the gym, or pack a peanut butter toast to eat when you’re finished.
Because when you exercise hard for 90 minutes or more, especially when your workout involves high intensity that takes a lot of endurance, you need optimum nutrition to help you perform and improve recovery time.
Here, in this article, we present you with nutritional guidelines that can help you in your fitness regime.
1. Load Up on Carbohydrates
The main fuel for an athlete is carbohydrates. Your body metabolizes them to glucose, a form of sugar, and stores it in your muscles as glycogen.
When you exercise, your body uses glycogen for energy. If you exercise for less than 90 minutes, your energy needs are sufficed by the glycogen in your muscles, even for high-intensity activities. But for a longer workout, use these strategies:
- Practicing carbohydrate loading before an event can help boost glycogen storage. This should be done for 3 or 4 days before the event.
- Around 60-65 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates. This includes bread, cereals, pasta, and fruits to achieve maximum carbohydrate storage.
- You should consume your last meal 3-4 hours before your event. This gives your stomach enough time to assimilate the food.
- Do not consume sugary or starchy foods within 30 minutes of starting an activity. This can speed up dehydration.
- During long exercise sessions, you should replenish carbohydrates, minerals, and water. For this, eat a snack and drink fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. Foods containing refined carbohydrates (sugar or refined flour) pass quickly into the bloodstream, where they fuel working muscles. Also, many athletes prefer sports bars, sports drinks, or gels, since they’re so convenient. Fruits and fruit juices are also considered excellent choices.
- You need to reload on carbohydrates after intensive exercise, too. But after the event, you don’t need quick energy. Therefore, it’s best to choose less refined carbohydrates. such as a whole-grain bagel or carrot sticks, which provide slow releasing carbohydrates and a rich array of nutrients.
2. Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much
- Know what you need. The average person needs around 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That’s about 88 grams of protein for an 88 kg person. A strength athlete may need up to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight.
- Favor foods. Consuming too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys. Focus on eating high-quality protein foods such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, or milk instead of protein supplements.
- Drink up. One of the best foods for recovery is milk as it provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. It also contains casein and whey protein. The combination may be particularly helpful for athletes. Because casein is digested more slowly, helping to ensure long-term recovery of muscle and whey protein is absorbed quickly. This can help speed recovery immediately after an event.
3. Go Easy on Fat
When you practice for long events such as marathons and carbohydrates sources run low, your body turns to fat for energy.
Mostly, fat requirements of athletes are fulfilled by following the basic dietary guideline to eat mostly unsaturated fat from foods such as nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
You should avoid fatty foods on the day of an event since they can upset your stomach.
4. Drink Fluids Early and Often
Intense exercise can lead to dehydration. This can hurt your performance and, in extreme cases, threaten your life.
Therefore, all high-intensity athletes should drink fluids early and often. You should not wait until you’re thirsty. Because, by the time you feel parched, you may be seriously dehydrated.
What to Eat After a Workout
Well best nutritionist in Delhi states that you can try these quick post-workout meal ideas to speed up recovery, maximize exercise benefits, and help maintain lean muscle:
- Protein shake made with half a banana, almond milk, greek yogurt, and hemp seeds (excellent protein source)
- Salad with roasted chickpeas, light olive oil, and vinegar
- Sautéed or steamed vegetables with non-GMO tofu
- Quinoa bowl with blackberries and pecans
- Whole-wheat bread with raw peanut butter and agave nectar
- Burrito with beans, brown rice, guacamole, and salsa
- Grilled chicken with sautéed or steamed vegetables
- Omelet stuffed with sautéed vegetables and avocado (1/4 of fruit, sliced)
- Grilled salmon with a baked sweet potato
- Whole-wheat bread with tuna mixed with hummus, spinach leaves
- Chocolate milk
Over to You
Post-workout nutrition is an extremely important feature of a fitness regime and it is crucial for a good performance. Follow these essential tips to maximize your workout capacity.