You will be surprised to know that your workout doesn't end when you leave the gym. Choosing the right foods to eat after working out is also a part of it. To understand how the right foods can help you after exercise, it is important to understand how your body is affected by physical activity.
When you're working out, the body uses its stored fats to produce the desired energy. The primary source of energy is glycogen. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Along with that, muscle wear and tear is also very normal. After the workout, your body starts repairing the muscles and reproducing the glycogen. To help your body perform these functions, you need to eat carefully after the workout.
To help your body, you need to plan your post-workout meal according to the following food sources:
Proteins help repair and build muscle
Consuming protein after a workout helps heal the muscle and prevents the loss of lean muscle. When the muscle in your body is lean, it contributes to a muscular and toned appearance. Consuming proteins also gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild the muscle. Research proves that consuming 20-40 grams of protein seems to maximize the body's ability to recover after a workout.
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Fats are not always bad
We have been living with a misconception that fats are bad for the body and they should not be consumed after a workout. This is not the case. Fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal but that does not reduce its benefits at all. Studies have shown that consuming full-fat milk and cheese promoted muscle growth more than low-fat milk and cheese.
It might be a good idea to limit the quantity of fat you take after the workout, but incorporating fat in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery at all.
Carbs to the rescue!
When you work out, your body takes energy from glycogen, which is an important source of energy. Consuming carbs in your post-workout meal helps replenish the glycogen levels. The rate at which glycogen is used from your body depends upon the duration and intensity of the activity you perform. Endurance sports require more energy than strength training. If you are a swimmer or you run marathons, you might need to consume more carbs than a weight lifter.
Eating plenty of carbs is important for people who follow a tough workout routine i.e. working out twice a day. If you are taking rest once or twice a day, then consuming this much protein becomes less important.
As discussed above, your post-workout meal should be a combination of carbs, fat, and proteins. Below is the list of foods you can consume out of these categories after working out.
|Eggs (the best source of proteins post-workout)||Peanut Butter||Sweet potato|
|Protein shakes.||Nut butter||Fruits (banana, kiwi, pineapple, berries)|
|Chicken (grilled, smoked, boiled)||Full fat cheese|