The health benefits of indulging in exercises have been extensively documented. However, exercise can have the exact opposite effect. It can destroy your muscles. Specifically, exercising can cause your muscles to develop microscopic tears. The level of microscopic tear depends on the kind of exercise you’re doing and its duration, intensity and frequency. However, if you eat a healthy diet, your muscles can repair themselves in a matter of days. That’s why experts recommend consuming lots of proteins, carbohydrates, and fluids after exercise. Here is an expanded explanation of the foods you should eat post-workout:
Proteins are the best fitness foods to eat post-workout
Proteins are well-known to build muscle and repair worn out tissues. Besides those, proteins help maintain existing tissues, and partly, in the synthesis of antibiotics, hormones, enzymes, albumin, and hemoglobin. The need for protein increases with increase in workouts, more so when doing endurance training and aerobic workouts. It’s crucial that you consume the right amount of calories. Otherwise, all the proteins will be converted into energy during and after the workout session. Consumption of enough calories spares the proteins to be used to build and repair worn out muscles after a workout. The recommended protein intake for endurance athletes, according to experts, is 1.2 to 1.4 g per kg of body weight. On the other hand, the recommended protein intake for resistance athletes is 1.2 to 1.7 g per kg of body weight. Also, note that the amino acid found in proteins can affect the growth and maintenance of muscle tissues. Experts recommend that you consume high-biological value protein foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, as well as dairy products. If you’re a vegetarian, ensure that you consume all essential amino acids. You can ensure this by mixing foods, such as corn and beans, rice and beans, as well as bread and peanut butter.
Carbohydrates are some of the best fitness foods to consume after a workout
Carbohydrates are well known to supply energy in the body. Specifically, they provide energy to build and maintain muscle tissue. They also replenish low-glycogen stores in the muscles. Replenishment of glycogen occurs a lot post-workout because the muscles have a higher demand to consume glucose and insensitivity to insulin. That’s why experts recommend consuming high glycemic index foods because they can be quickly metabolized into glucose and this can aid quick glucose synthesis. Examples of high glycemic foods include potatoes, bagel, rice, cereals, and waffles. Synthesis of glucose takes between 15 to 60 minutes. Studies suggest that endurance athletes who exercise for 90 minutes every day consume about 1.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight post exercise. They should also follow it up with 1.5 g per kg of body weight after two hours.
Fluids constitute a healthy diet for any post workout regime
Fluids and electrolytes are massively lost during work out. It’s imperative that you replenish them after workouts. Experts recommend drinking 1 pint (16 ounces) of fluid for ounce you lose during a workout. You can always know how much water you have lost by weighing yourself before and after any workout session. You can minimize fluid loss by consuming foods and beverage with salt. Salty drinks help recover water and electrolytes lost during the workout. Examples of foods and beverages that contain sodium include whole grain crackers, pretzel, tomato juice, pickles and sports beverages.
If you aren’t hungry post workout, you can consume snacks, such as smoothies, crackers, sports drinks, low-fat chocolate, energy bars and much more. Smoothies, fresh fruits, and peanut butter add a dose of vitamins and proteins to your body. If you’re hungry after a workout, consider eating steak, chicken, turkey and other first-class proteins.