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What Should You Include In Your Post-Workout Diet?

By Devika Bandyopadhya

Nutritious food after a workout session is extremely important to maintain a healthy body. If you aim to stay fit, you are sure to put in a lot of effort during your exercising sessions. Not just the workout session, but the post-workout meal is highly important as well.

However, it has been observed that people tend to put in more effort and thought towards planning their pre-workout meal. On the contrary, the post-workout meals hold much more importance and require careful planning and preparation.

what to eat after a workout

Why Post-workout Meal Is Important?

Our body is affected in more than one ways after a physical activity. When exercising, our body uses the glycogen stores in the muscles as the fuel to workout. This causes the muscles to be depleted of glycogen. It is also likely that a workout session can cause the proteins in the muscles of your body to undergo damage.

However, once you are done with your workout, your body will try to rebuild the lost glycogen stores. The lost muscle proteins are also repaired and regrown. This can be done faster if you eat the right amount of nutrients after your workout session. Including carbs and protein in your post-workout meal is highly important.

Nutrient Requirement After A Workout

Exercising causes the breakdown of protein in the body's muscles. Therefore, you should consume ample protein-rich food after your exercising session, so that the supply of amino acids is maintained. This will help in the repair and rebuilding of the lost proteins.

Glycogen stores of the body are used as fuel when you exercise; eating the right amount of carbs post workout will help you replenish them. The amount of carb requirement also varies from person to person, depending on the intensity of the fitness regime being followed. Consuming carbs and proteins together helps in better insulin secretion, which can eventually result in better protein and glycogen synthesis.

Fat intake post workout has shown good results, although it might interfere with the body's digestion process. Studies have shown that consumption of whole milk when compared to skim milk shows better results in the promotion of muscle growth. However, remember that too much of fat post workout is actually unnecessary.

Post-workout Food

To maximize the effectiveness of your workout session and to provide your body with the much-needed nutrients, consider incorporating the following in your post-workout meal:

• The List Of Carbs To Be Included Are:

- Potatoes
- Pasta
- Green leafy vegetables
- Quinoa
- Fruits such as banana, kiwi, berries and pineapple
- Sweet potatoes
- Rice
- Oatmeal

• The List Of Proteins To Be Included Are:

- Protein powder or protein shakes
- Cottage cheese
- Chicken
- Protein bars
- Salmon
- Tuna
- Eggs

• The List Of Fats To Be Included Are:

- Nuts
- Avocado
- Dried nuts

Some of the quick-to-prepare and easy meals post a workout session are as follows:

- Salmon alongside sweet potato
- Whole grain bread
- Cottage cheese along with fruits
- Cereal with skimmed milk
- Rice crackers with peanut butter
- Grilled chicken topped with roasted vegetables
- Toast with avocado spread along with egg omelet
- Banana, almonds, oatmeal
- Whole grain toast with almond butter

The Importance Of Staying Hydrated:

Plenty of water intake both prior to and post a workout session is extremely important. To maximize the positive outcomes of your workout session, it is necessary to attain the optimal internal body environment. This can be achieved by keeping yourself well-hydrated.

Exercising makes you lose a lot of body fluids in the form of sweat. These need to be replenished after your workout session. The amount and type of liquid intake also depends on the intensity of your workout session. It is always advised to seek guidance regarding this from your dietitian and fitness trainer.

Timing Of Your Post-workout Meal:

It is always recommended that you consume a meal rich in carbs and proteins immediately after you have finished exercising. Most fitness experts suggest that you eat your meal within a period of 45 minutes of exercising.

It needs to be understood that planning your post workout meal in an effective manner will ensure that your body rebuilds the muscle proteins and glycogen stores lost during the workout session. It further stimulates the growth of new muscles. Keep in mind that post a workout session, you should not remain without food beyond 2 hours. Following a good, nutritious diet post workout will help you go a long way in achieving your fitness goals.

Read more about: workout diet
Story first published: Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 17:30 [IST]
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