Looking after yourself doesn't stop at exercise and taking care of yourself nutritionally is critical for optimal wellbeing! Likewise, eating properly after exercise is important not only to replenish the energy you've just burned, but also to make sure you get the most out of your workout and in turn see the results you want! Every time you exercise, carbohydrate stores are used for energy and your muscle protein is broken down. It's therefore essential to replenish these stores within 30 minutes post exercise, to avoid fatigue and muscle wasting (to ensure the muscle tone we are working so hard for isn’t stripped for energy!) Postexercise foods should be rich in good quality carbohydrates to replenish muscle fuel stores, contain lean protein to repair muscles, and include a source of fluid and electrolytes to re-hydrate effectively.
Studies have found that the optimum amount of macronutrients that should be consumed after exercise are:
CARBOHYDRATES 1.2g/kg body weight i.e a 70kg person should consume 84g (1.2 x 70) of carbohydrates post exercise.
Example: 2 slices of sourdough! PROTEIN 20-30g of protein (or an equivalent of 9g of essential amino acids).
Example: 200g of YoPro yogurt!
When it comes to post-workout recovery, always consider the three Rs:
REFUEL • Refuel your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores to avoid muscle tissue breakdown and low energy. • Lack of glucose to fuel the brain can lead to decreased alertness and concentration, and low mood. • Aim for high quality carbohydrates sources (think wholegrain breads and cereals). REPAIR • Repair damaged muscles with protein. • Consuming protein post-workout will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. REHYDRATE • Rehydrate with fluids. • Most of us finish a workout at least a little dehydrated, and you will continue to lose fluids through sweating and breathing. It is essential that you replace these fluids immediately.
If you are a early morning trainer, it is usually super easy to fuel up with a good quality breakfast of yogurt and oats! Likewise if you train before lunch or dinner, having a nutritionally balanced meal post workout will ensure you are recovering to the greatest ability! Those who train at times that do not fall just before a standard meal, or find it difficult to eat a meal straight after exercising or know it will take more than 30 minutes to prepare can have a good quality protein shake with 20-30g protein at the required carbohydrate amount!
Happy fuelling xx