We covered what to eat before a workout and dispelled a common myth about pre-workout nutrition, but what about after a workout? When you’ve hit the gym and walk away after a good sweat, it’s crucial that you get the nutrition needed to refresh and revitalize, along with promoting recovery.
A personal trainer will be your best resource for figuring out how much to eat, the right balance of nutrients, and what your ideal recovery plan is. In general, these are some of the tips people follow.
Of course, right!? But it’s worth mentioning because it can be easy to lose a lot of fluid during a tough workout. Hydrating before and after your workout, and in general just keeping a consistent fluid intake, will make sure that you’re less likely to experience things like cramps and fatigue. If you sweat a lot or know that you’re particularly sensitive to losing electrolytes, make sure that’s part of your refueling plan, too!
Endurance athletes know how important carbs are to increase performance, but you have to refill some carbs after your workout, too. Carbs are the basis for our energy, so a healthy carb serving after your workout is going to ensure you’ve got the energy to get through the rest of your day.
Depending on your goals, this might be the main component of your pre- and post-workout nutrition. Muscles are made from protein, so you need protein to either increase muscle mass or to simply maintain what you have.
Don’t Forget Fat
Fat got a bad rap for a long time, but fat helps your brain and other parts of your body. In a post-workout snack, you might be getting some fat from lean dairy, whole nuts, or oils in things like fish or avocado. Fat helps you feel full and satisfied, so don’t shy away from an appropriate dose of good fats.
Not Too Much!
One common issue people have with working out and trying to lose weight is that they overestimate how much they burned during a workout and end up sabotaging their hard work with food. If you’re looking to add muscle, then you may have to eat more than what you burned, but no matter what, you don’t want to overdo it. Even if you do want to eat back those calories, you don’t want to give yourself license to eat too much or the wrong thing. Quality matters, and balance for your post workout snack is crucial.
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