Just as it is important to make sure you get proper nutrition prior to a workout to make sure you have enough energy for your workout and can perform your best, it is just as important to make sure you are getting proper fuel after your workout. Getting optimal nutrition after working out is necessary in order to optimize your results and reach your fitness goals. Eating after a workout is all about replenishing the calories you used up during your workout and providing proper fuel that will help bring your energy stores back up and properly build up your muscle. It is important to replenish glycogen that was used and provide nutrients for speedy muscle recovery. What you eat and how much you need toe at depends on multiple different factors including what type of exercise you did, intensity of your exercise, and your body weight.
As much as you may want me to give you a very simple answer about which magical food or food group is essential to ensure the best post-workout results… it simply is not that easy. All macronutrients play a key role in providing proper post-workout nutrition, and nutrition is very individualized based on body type. Overall though, one thing is true for all… after a workout, you should… EAT! If you don’t eat after a workout, you could be fatigued and battling low blood sugar, inhibiting your body’s repair process. If you routinely skip eating after a workout, it will be harder to reach your fitness goals. This is so important because during a workout your body has lost a lot of calories and electrolytes and your body is craving nutrients to help replace those stores and heal the body. Your post-workout meal should be high in complex carbohydrates to replace the glycogen stores used to fuel your workout. During a workout, proteins in your muscles get broken down and damaged. To help repair this damage, your body needs more protein so it is crucial to eat healthy proteins in your post-workout meal to help your muscles recover.
But is it true that you should eat a certain time window after working out to maximize results? I mean, yes and no. Your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise. Therefore, it would benefit you to consume a combination of carbohydrates and proteins as soon as possible after exercising, but if you do not, it is not as if your body will just forget how to restore glycogen and build muscle. It just isn’t quite as enhanced. There is no exact time, but within 45 minutes of working out is a good guideline. If you had a good pre-workout meal soon to the time of working out however, that might prolong the time period in which optimal glycogen can be absorbed, giving you a little more time after your workout. Suppose you cannot get a good post-workout meal in within 45 minutes after working out. In that case, I recommend having an easy high protein snack ready to go to help replenish glycogen and protein stores and then consume a nutritionally dense meal high in protein at your next meal as well.
Hiring a certified Personal Trainer may be the best investment you make to achieve a fit, healthy, new you. Contact Jacey Gengenbach, one of the top three finalists for the 2015 trainer of the year award, at Fitness & Beyond in Omaha today. Call her at 402-502-2729 or visit the company’s website: www.fitnessandbeyondomaha.com. Follow Fitness & Beyond on Twitter, or find it on Facebook at Fitness & Beyond, LLC.