The Do’s, the Don’ts and Food Solutions Post-Workout
What you put in is what you get out. What you get out is what you put in.
What you eat before you exercise is meant to act as fuel for physical activity while also maximizing your performance during exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) supports that pre-workout meals may vary dependent on training style, duration, overall health status and performance. However, making sure that you have the proper tools and general knowledge of a healthy post-workout nutrition practice will not only help you fine-tune your overall nutrition planning, but will also help your successfully meet your personal fitness goals.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Post-Workout Nutrition is a good place to start….
- Do refuel within 30 minutes to two hours of your workout.
- Choose nutrient dense carbohydrates replenish your glycogen stores that also provide you with energy.
- Eat lean protein to repair muscles and prevent them from breaking down.
- Do replenish your hydration. WEbMD recommends:
- Drink about 8 ounces of water right after exercise
- If excessive weight has been lost via sweat and other bodily fluid, you should drink 15-20 ounces of water for every pound lost.
- Do replace electrolytes lost during exercise. Typically the “average” workout does not require sports electrolyte drinks during the exercise. However, it can be helpful to replenish afterwards via a post-workout snack or meal.
- Do not gorge yourself after a workout. Just because you burned calories does not mean you must replace them and then some.
- Do not skip a post-workout meal or snack. Skipping proper food intake after a good training session can actually reverse your hard work increasing likelihood of injury and fatigue.
- Do not get too caught up in the protein gimmick.
- Though protein is part of a balanced diet and can support a healthy weight management program, it is not the only thing your body needs to recover. ACSM shares that “the “anabolic window of opportunity” (optimal time to eat protein after a workout to build muscle) is longer than initially thought.
- After a weight-lifting session, the muscles are in building-mode for the next two days. Your best recovery bet is to enjoy a post-exercise carb-protein combination that both builds and refuels muscles.
Post-Workout Meal and Snack Ideas
- Protein shake and banana
- Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables
- Tuna and crackers
- Whole grain toast with nut butter
- Salmon and sweet potato
- Spinach omelet
- Cottage Cheese and fruit
- Pita with hummus
- Quinoa with almonds and berries
- Turkey and avocado
– Casey Edmonds, CHC