Proper nutrition in terms of quality and quantity before, during and after training can maximize the benefits of exercise. During exercise, we tend to lose water and calories, so we need to refuel. The hunger you may feel after exercising is not the only reason why you should eat after a workout, the body also needs proper food after a meal.
There are three golden rules of post-workout meals – rehydration, replenishment of glycogen stores (carbohydrates – 1-1.5 g / kg body weight / hour; continue for four hours) and restoring electrolyte balance.
During exercise, carbohydrate stores are depleted. To make up for it, it would be ideal to eat a meal in the first 15 minutes of training. This helps muscles recover better and faster. Eat a snack that contains 50-100 grams of carbohydrates (200-400 calories) within 15 minutes. Liquid and solids work equally well. For example, you can take a bagel and a glass of mixed fruit juice or a banana shake. Continue to eat 0.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight every two hours for six to eight hours that day.
To energize your muscles after a rigorous workout, you should also focus on protein in addition to fluids and carbohydrates. Although carbohydrates are key to supplying muscle with energy, studies have shown that adding protein will help your body store even more energy. With 100 grams of carbohydrates, you can add 10-15 grams of protein to your meal. This can be easily achieved with a smoothie, bread toast with peanut butter protein or yogurt with fruit and granola. After two hours, you can eat meals like chicken with brown rice or pasta with chopped eggs. If you prefer not to eat solids soon after exercising, try a sports recovery drink that contains protein and carbohydrates. They can also opt for energy bars that provide an excellent blend of carbohydrates and proteins. These are the most convenient and acceptable post-workout snacks that are easy to carry. For people who do endurance sports, who have to train twice a day multiple times, this post-workout meal is very helpful in preventing chronic fatigue and promoting top performance.
Remember to drink enough fluids. It is very important to keep yourself hydrated to optimize your next performance; two to three cups after a workout for every pound of pounds you lose during a workout would be good enough to start with.
Choosing the right food and maintaining the right composition of meals and snacks can speed up sports performance. Always consult a professional sports nutritionist for a precise individualized diet plan, which will help you replenish optimally and recover faster.