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Post Workout Nutrition: What You Should be Eating

Nov 16, 2010

If fitness is a significant part of your life then it's also important that you know all about post workout nutrition. However, post workout nutrition is something that tends to be confusing. Should you drink protein shakes or should you eat solid foods? Will eating after your workout counter the effects of your exercise? These are some of the questions that probably go through your mind. Here are some guidelines about what you should be eating after your workout.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are some of the important nutrients that you should supply your body with after a strenuous workout. When you exercise, the protein structures and glycogen in your muscles are broken down by your body. Carbs are required in order to help your body restore this glycogen. It does so by stimulating the release of insulin which sends nutrients to your muscle cells. If you're like most people then you probably consider carbs bad for fitness. However, not consuming carbs after your workout may cause your body to digest muscle cells for energy. Needless to say, muscle development is one of the objectives of working out so you want to maintain your muscles as much as possible.

Protein

Protein is another nutrient that you should include in your post workout diet. Protein assists in the recovery of your muscles after exercise. Eggs, tuna and chicken are some of the most well-known foods that are rich in protein. Although they are healthy foods that you should incorporate in your everyday diet, they might not be the best foods to eat after your workout. This is because solid protein-rich foods digest slowly in the body. What you need is protein that will digest faster so it can aid your muscle recovery. This is where protein shakes come in. Protein shakes like whey protein shake will be absorbed and digested by your body much quicker.

Post Workout Meal Suggestions

Now that you know the important nutrients that should be included in your post workout meal, it's time to look at the different foods that you can eat after a workout. Hummus on pita bread is a great post workout snack. If you usually eat meat then it's healthy to consume meat substitutes from time to time. Hummus is one of these healthy meat substitutes. Hummus is made from chick peas and is a rich source of both carbohydrates and protein. Pair it with some whole-grain pita for a tasty and healthy post workout snack.

Nuts and dried fruits make a quick post exercise snack if you don't have the time to whip up an elaborate meal. You can simply place them in a sealed plastic bag which you can then put in your gym bag. As you probably know, nuts are one of the best sources of protein. The dried fruits are also rich in simple carbohydrates as well. Simple carbohydrates make better post workout food than complex carbohydrates. This is because simple carbs are digested easier and faster so they can immediately replenish the glycogen in your muscles.

 

 

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