According to a new survey 50% of people only sometimes eat a post-workout snack. and nearly 40% never do. But getting a nutritional boost post-exercise is just as important as the actual workout.
After high-intensity workouts, a snack provides proper refueling to help your body recover faster, provides much-needed energy, and can actually help strengthen your body.
During exercise, your body breaks down muscle to replace the weaker muscle fibers with stronger fibers. This remodeling process can lead to muscle soreness. The best way to help the body in the remodeling process is to optimally refuel with high quality nutrients in the form of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. The more you supply the body with these nutrients, the faster your body will recover. And fast recovery is important so you can continue to maximize your energy after each workout and be ready for your next.
After a workout, your appetite may not be big, but your body is starving for fuel. Here are three simple strategies to optimally fuel up after hitting the gym, pounding the pavement, or whatever your preferred exercise might be:
3 POST-WORKOUT SNACK TIPS
1. Timing is key: You should eat immediately following your workout to get the most out of it. You have a narrow window of opportunity following your workout when your body is in the best environment to reap the benefits of your hard work. Aim to consume your post workout snack within 30 minutes following your workout to optimize your recovery.
2. Avoid the carb confusion: It’s amazing how often I still hear from people who are avoiding carbs post-workout. I’ve heard it from professional athletes to weekend warriors. I often see people who are consuming protein powder mixed with water, and that’s it. This is a big “no-no.” The research is very clear and well documented in this area. The optimal post-workout snack has both protein AND carbohydrates. In fact, the ratio should usually be about 2:1-3:1 carbs:protein.
3. Power of protein: Research has shown that post-workout nutrition is critical to refuel optimally, and protein should be a big part of the plan.
BY MITZI DULAN, RD