I hope you’re seeing progress towards your fitness goals. Today, we’ll be talking about how food can help your body recover after exercise.
As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it gives us the energy that we need for the whole day. But for athletes and those who workout daily, post-workout nutrition is more important than any other meal.
You need to replenish your body after a hard workout. You have sweat over 2L of water, used your stored glycogen and broken down your red blood cells and muscles. Therefore, you need to eat right after the training for recovery and better performance.
The cells of your body are in need of replenishment; specifically glycogen stores after 30 minutes of hard training. This occurs right after they enter their cool down.
Recovery nutrition has 2 stages. The first stage occurs within 30 minutes of your workout and the second stage occurs 1-2 hours after exercise.*
Restoring Your Body’s Glycogen
Taking foods that are rich in carbohydrates is important to restore your glycogen in the body and beginning the synthesis of muscle glycogen. It is advised that 1.2 grams of carbohydrates should be taken per kg of body weight.
However, this large quantity of carbohydrates is impractical for some athletes who are having a hard time tolerating drink or food right after exercise. Therefore, it is recommended for those people to take about 0.2-0.4 g/kg of protein and about 0.8 g/kg of carbohydrates to achieve the same effect.
Building and Repairing Your Muscles
After a hard and long workout, muscle protein is broken down which makes nutrition recovery very important as well. As soon as the recovery stage starts, the catabolic processes decrease while anabolic processes increase and goes on for at least a day after training.
Amino acids from protein sources aid in the process of rebuilding the muscles. Most athletes consume 20 to 30 grams of protein after an hour of workout.
Boosting Your Immune System
An extreme and long workout can suppress your immune system so if this continues, you might easily acquire a disease or infection.
Therefore, it is necessary to take supplements like:
These supplements can help you boost your immune system and reduce stress.
Rehydrating Your Body
Athletes should try to consume 125 to 150 percent of the average fluid lost over 4-6 hours after exercise.
Electrolytes are also lost due to excessive sweating during a workout. Therefore, sodium should be added into recovery fluid.
To rehydrate your body faster, you should add 50 to 80mmol of sodium. To achieve this, you may add more electrolytes to commercial sports drinks or eating foods that have sodium together with recovery fluids.
Take Care of Your Body, and It Will Take Care of You
Workout and exercise are really beneficial for one’s health but you should never forget to replenish your body with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need to make your body perform well. Make sure to consume the right amount of food and fluids at the right time.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve learned a lot about how food can help your body recover faster after exercise, and will apply this information to your own workout routine. Remember, stay positive and keep working towards your fitness goals and you will achieve success.