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What to Eat After Your Workout

Jan 18th, 2013

What to Eat After Your WorkoutYour post-workout snack or meal may be just as important as the workout itself. Eating foods rich in protein and carbohydrates can help your body recover, replenish energy, and repair muscles. Let’s take a look at the important components of post-workout nutrition. So what to eat after your workout:

Protein

Eating a protein-rich snack or meal is important after a workout to encourage muscle growth and recovery. Working out causes tiny damage or micro trauma to the muscle fibers. Your body will utilize protein to replace and add more tissues as a measure to reduce future damage. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming about 20 grams of protein after workouts. Eat a variety of protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, eggs, protein shake, legumes, and nuts.

Carbohydrates

Working out burns lots of calories. so you’ll need to replace your muscles’ glycogen stores and blood glucose. Aside from protein, the Mayo Clinic recommends eating carbohydrates within the next two hours after your workout. How much carbohydrate should you eat? It depends. The recommended amount is half a gram per pound of body weight.

Fluids

You need to drink intermittently during your workout to avoid dehydration. After your workout, you should continue drinking to replace lost fluids and minerals. Water is still the best option but you can also opt for a sports drink to regain electrolyte balance. You don’t need sports drinks unless you delay eating a snack or meal after your workout. Eating foods with high water content can also help replenish lost fluids.

Metabolic window

The first 45 minutes after your workout is a crucial period known as the “metabolic window.” During this period, nutrition can shift the body from a catabolic to an anabolic state. You should take advantage of this window to consume protein and carbohydrates to help increase muscle mass.

Source: VISTA Health Solutions

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