From athletes to those maintaining a healthy body, working out takes a lot out of anyone. When a person pushes their body to limits, as many do during a typical workout, it is imperative to fuel yourself with the proper nutrition. As the health craze continues to sweep the nation over the last decade, it can become difficult to navigate through the falsehoods and facts regarding what to eat after a workout. While many active individuals place much focus on what they eat prior to a workout, it is just as important to give attention to your post-workout meal. The body needs fuel to recover from lost energy and eating right is the perfect way to re-fuel.
The body must adapt post-workout in order for the muscles to be rebuilt and reinforced. In fact, this is the time when the body truly gains strength during the metabolic processes. When it comes to food consumption post-work, we are turning our attention to protein. The goal is to reduce protein breakdown while capitalizing on protein synthesis. Therefore, eating and drinking right after a workout is vital.
It is recommended to consume about 10 to 20 grams of protein immediately following a long workout. The body responds at optimal levels when protein intake is closer to 20 grams. The following are some of the most simple, protein-packed foods that make great post-workout meals:
- Protein Shakes/Protein Bars
- Chocolate Milk
- Greek Yogurt
If you choose to purchase a protein powder, be sure to pay attention to calorie count. In addition, be sure to strive for a well-balanced meal that offers vitamin B-12, calcium, and healthy fats. Making an effort to consume proteins after a long workout will benefit your body both today and tomorrow.