No matter what type of intense workouts or how much repetition one does each week, at the end it is always the nutrition that plays a major role in determining one’s fitness gains. You should never ever neglect this critical aspect of training! Your proper post workout meals will help your body build and repair muscles, replenish the energy stores, decrease stress levels and keep the metabolism stoked for the whole day.
Dos and Don’ts Of Post Workout Meals
In this article we will help you with some of the do’s and don’ts of post workout nutrition. Follow these tips to achieve the desired body goals in a short span of time. Are you ready to explore the excellent tips and enjoy higher quality workouts with better results? Then let us get started:
- Fuel Your Body with Protein
If you are searching for what to eat after a workout, then make sure your meal is rich with protein. Protein consumption can fill your body with both essential and non-essential amino acids that are vital for speeding the repairing process of muscles and tissues after a workout session. Most fitness enthusiasts have a doubt what to eat after a workout? Well! If we speak about protein, then nothing can be better than having lean proteins like wild-caught fish, cottage cheese, antibiotic-free chicken, eggs, almonds, and occasionally beef or any red meat. If you are too busy to refuel your body with home cooked foods, then the best and quick fix solution is to have protein supplements.
- Increase Your Glycogen Consumption
While we perform those high-intensity workouts, our body becomes depleted of glycogen. Are you wondering what glycogen is? Well! Glycogen is a polysaccharide that our body gets when we consume enough after workout food that contains healthy carbohydrates and this can help to improve our energy levels. When you include carbs to your after workout meal plan, you help your body to release insulin. This insulin takes glucose from our blood and then stores it in the cells and muscles in the form of energy. When your body gets enough fuel, the glucose molecules then get converted to glycogen. To make the insulin release more proactive you should have carbohydrate and protein together.
- Choose Foods that are Easy to Digest
Your ultimate goal to get a fit body and better results is to provide nutrients to the body as quickly as possible. Eating the right type of post workout food will aid in rapid recovery and also give you optimum results out of your hard work. You should try to include the following after workout foods and supplements to your diet: whole carbs, oatmeal, avocado, almond butter, chicken, fruits, eggs, greek yogurt and quinoa. All these foods are easy to digest and will also help you to feel satiated.
- Complete Your Meals with Healthy Fats
It is very important to include good sources of fat in small amounts to your post workout food list. These foods will not only help you feel satiated but will also help you feel full for longer periods of time. However, do not consume bad fats (saturated and trans fats) as these will increase blood cholesterol levels and LDL levels. You can have saturated fats like salami and bacon at times but the quantity must be limited. Good fats can be easily gulped in the form of avocados, nuts, chia seeds, fish, low fat milk, etc. and these monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are known to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Don’t Deprive Your Body of Nutrients for Long
You should never waste a lot of your time pondering your mind on what should I eat after a workout? This will have adverse effects on your body. If you are thinking about when to eat after working out, then remember that you must eat your nutritious after workout meal within one hour of completing your workout to get the most out of your hard work. It is within this window of time when the human body is able to perfectly rebuild the glycogen stores and also repair those torn muscles & tissues. If you skip whole foods, then get your hands on supplements like protein shakes, BCAAs, etc.
- Avoid Unknown Ingredients
Sometimes it can be really confusing to choose the best post workout meal for yourself, when you do not know anything about certain foods or supplements. The best thing to do at that time is to stay away from them. There are certain foods that might contain ingredients that are rather bad for your body (sugar, preservatives, etc.) and therefore, you shouldn’t eat them. If you don’t understand the ingredient list, then do not have them.
- Skip Cigarettes and Alcohol
If you are really looking to give your body the best post workout food and reap the benefits of those nutritious foods, then it is time for you to say a strict no to smoking and alcohol. Cigarettes and alcoholic drinks tend to slow down your muscle repair process. Alcohol inhibits the production of certain hormones that otherwise help in the production of testosterone.
- Stay Away from Spicy Foods
Spicy foods should never be a part of your after workout diet plan if you want to avoid unwanted consequences like heartburn and diarrhea. Additionally, spicy foods also contain capsaicin, which can irritate your body. These foods are also not easy to digest and thus can hinder the muscle repairing process.
Follow these post-workout nutrition do’s and don’ts diligently and see how beautifully your body responds to them. You will definitely fall in love with the excellent results.