Post Workout Nutrition and Why it Matters
Wondering what to eat after your workout? You aren't alone. There's a lot of confusion surrounding post-workout nutrition and its impact on how effectively your body recovers from your workout.
Some people wonder if they should eat at all. Others may give a lot of thought to what they eat before a workout but neglect to think much about how important it is to consider what they eat after.
Never fear. We're here to illuminate some of the more important aspects to keep in mind when you're wondering what to eat after your workout.
First, post-workout nutrition is considered almost as important as your workout itself. This, of course, means that it is indeed important to eat after your workout, especially if you're really working up a sweat.
This is because it can go a long way toward maximizing the benefits of your workout. Conversely, a post-workout diet that's lacking in nutritional value can mean you're wasting an important opportunity to properly recover.
It's important to understand the role of glycogen so that you can also understand the important role it plays in your post-workout nutrition. Glycogen can be thought of as the fuel that your body uses to create energy.
Your body expends its stores of glycogen when you work out. These stores are typically made up of the glucose you consume, and they can mostly be found in the liver and your muscles. Glucose comes from carbohydrates you consume.
It's important to refuel after a workout and the way to do so is by making sure to eat the proper foods. It's especially important to eat carbohydrates and protein after a workout. Carbohydrates play an important role. They help the body restore its stores of glycogen.
Meanwhile, protein helps the body limit the breakdown of muscle protein while also cultivating muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is what leads to your muscles properly adapting to the exercises you do. This means that eating protein both stops muscle breakdown and promotes muscle growth.
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Great Options for Post-Workout Nutrition
It's great to focus on restoring protein and carbohydrates but a great post-workout meal also provides healthful nutrition and hydration to restore what you've lost while exercising. The best choices will be those that are organic/non-processed. It's a great way to make sure you're getting the healthiest option out there.
Here are some options that contain either protein or a healthy dose of carbohydrates:
Eggs are a great source of protein. Hard-boiled eggs are also perfectly portable. Cottage cheese is full of protein, magnesium, and calcium. Don't care for cottage cheese? Try Greek yogurt instead. It also has the protein you need—though less of it.
Meanwhile, sweet potatoes and hummus have it all. They are a source of both protein and complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
Hummus is both delectable and healthful. It contains fiber and iron in addition to carbohydrates and protein.
Remember, it's important to restore what you've lost after a workout. A good post-workout diet will do this and more. It can help protect your muscles and help them recover without sacrificing your weight-loss goals. It can also help stave off dehydration and even make you less sore after a workout.
Put a little thought into what you eat after a workout. It can be the difference between maximizing your workout instead of wasting it.