The post workout meal (the meal you eat after a workout) is probably the most important meal of the day for anyone who is into nutrition and fitness.
Here are some tips on recovery nutrition:
Recovery nutrition makes sense
Whether you’re training for your next triathlon or simply thriving on your daily workouts, properly renourishing and rehydrating after exercise can keep you primed for every workout – and, if you are competing, ensure you perform to your potential.
According to New York-based registed dietician Sharon Richter, who is a registered dietician on the HealthiNation.com advisory board and also starred as the nutrition expert for three episodes of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the post exercise meal – preferably a carb-protein combo – is crucial to optimal recovery and consistency in training.
“Within 15 minutes of exercise one should replace carbohydrates. They were stored as glycogen and, if eaten within this time frame, are more likely to be restored,” she explains. “Protein in combination with carbohydrates should be consumed within two hours of exercise completion. Protein will help rebuild and repair muscle as well as aid in water absorption.”
Hydration is essential
You’ve heard the adage, “Drink eight (8-ounce) glasses of water a day.” But if you are sweating buckets during your workouts, you need to be even more diligent about drinking the 64 ounces – and then some.
Richter says, “To make sure you are getting the hydration and immediate glucose (carbohydrate) replenishment, it is often easiest to use a recovery drink. Look for one that is low in sugar and ideally sweetened with fruit juice or agave to prevent quick spikes in sugar.” (The nutrition expert and avid exerciser recommends the drink Code Blue.)
Drink a recovery drink within 15 minutes post-workout to help expedite your recovery and replenish the water, glycogen and nutrient loss from exercise.