Good post-exercise food choices can make all the difference between becoming stronger and becoming tired. Follow these tips for eating after your workout
If you’re into running, rock climbing, yoga or weights, you know the feeling’the munchies that hit you after your last sprint, ascent, dog facing down or bicep curl. We spoke to Tristaca Caldwell, a Registered Dietitian with Halifax Food with Food and a professor at Acadia College School of Nutrition and Dietetics, best post-workout songs.
What foods does the body need after doing its sport?
The two things we need most after physical activity are fluid and carbohydrates. ‘The point of recovery nutrition must replace the fuels you used,’ says Caldwell. ‘Your body becomes very good at the knowledge if these fuels are going to be replaced quickly. If they are, your body will probably let all its stores go. ‘
For fluid, check your sweat rate: weigh yourself before and after exercise and drink 1.5 liters for each kilogram lost. For carbs, aim at 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 59 kilograms (130 pounds), you will need 90 grams of carbohydrates.
Contrary to popular belief, protein is not the star of the show, says Caldwell. ‘Protein becomes important really only for high interval workout or weight training.’
How should we eat after the exercises?
It is important to get fluid and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of exercising. It’s when your body is most able to use these foods, ‘says Caldwell.
Have a snack right away, rather than waiting until you come home to prepare a meal. Try the cereal bar or granola; a fruit cocktail; a smoothie; dry cereal; follow the mixture with nuts, seeds and dry fruit; vegetables and humus; or savory biscuits with cheese. Avoid foods high in fat or fiber, which slow down digestion. (Try our recipes for Hard Cheese Walnuts and Date Bars, Nut Breakfast and Snack Cookies, Peanut Power Balls or Spicy Chocolate Energy Bars.)
“Chocolate milk has a really good ratio of protein and a carbohydrate gram to protein for every three to four grams of carbohydrate, the ideal ratio for a recovery food,” says Caldwell. ‘It also has liquid, so you smash all those things you need in a drink.’ Can not digest the dairy? Suck scented soy or almond milk.
Do we need special sports drinks during or after exercise?
‘If you have been training for the longest one hour, especially when it’s hot and you sweat a lot, you want to get some sports drink, something with the electrolytes. The more you sweat, the more you need these electrolytes and potassium, “says Caldwell.
If your activity is short or not very arduous, or you just sweat, she advises to skip the sports drink. ‘The next time you eat, your body will get what it needs.’
And protein powders?
As soon as people become active, they believe they need protein powders because there is so much marketing for them, “says Caldwell. Even someone doing strength training needs as little as 10 to 20 grams of afterward’less protein as is typically in a powder shovel.
When you receive protein from food, you have many other foods compared to protein powders, which tend to have more protein than you need and are lower in carbohydrates, “says Caldwell.
She adds that protein powders can be high in calories. “For recreational athletes who are active, but not highly competitive, I find they take in more calories than they burn through activity.”
How can we repeat if we eat properly after a workout?
If you exercise regularly without replacing fluid and carbs quickly or enough, you will feel low in energy the next time you exercise. ‘You’ll hit the wall sooner or you can not train at the same intensity,’ says Caldwell. You might also find that you are really hungry and no matter what you eat, you can not calm the beast. And in general, if you do not eat enough, you will get sick more easily.