If you find yourself heading out of the gym and then starting your day without eating a post-workout meal, then you are making one serious mistake that can compromise your fitness efforts. Eating after a workout session might be simply fuelling your body with additional calories that you have just burnt off in the gym, eating after a workout is vital for maximising the benefits of your workouts.
But as important as eating is after working out, observing good post-workout nutrition is highly important. Most workout enthusiasts and bodybuilders don’t think about the nutritional quality of their post-workout meal.
Here are the top 6 reasons as to why observing proper post-workout nutrition is important for anyone working out.
1. FOR POWERING HUNGRY MUSCLES
This is among the most important reasons for observing post-workout nutrition. Irrespective of the type of workout you are doing, either running or lifting weight, you need to have a post-workout nutrition regimen so that you can feed your hungry muscles with the proper nutrients. The ideal post-workout meal should be high in carbs since carbs are essential for refilling energy stores.
Including carbs-rich foods in your post-exercise meal will besides fuelling your muscles with energy also lower the reduction in the immunity levels which can take place after tedious workouts. Some of the best carb sources to consider adding to your post-exercise meal include grains, fruits, and sweet potatoes. Such foods have plenty of healthy carbs that are essential to your body after working out.
2. A STEADY SUPPLY OF PROTEIN
With the proper post-exercise nutrition, you can keep supplying your body with a steady source of protein. Protein is vital for muscle growth. However, the body only builds upon existing muscles once they have recovered after the workout. A nutritious post-exercise meal that contains protein is vital for helping the muscles heal. With enough protein, your body will not lose the lean mass it had acquired all through your workouts.
With lean mass courtesy of protein, you will easily achieve a toned and muscular appearance that every fitness enthusiast craves for. Based on scientific research, eating a few grams of milk protein after your workout can help stimulate protein synthesis which takes place in the muscle. This aids in recovery after a workout. Some of the best protein sources to include in your post-exercise meal includes Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, and ricotta cheese.
3. HELP KEEP YOUR BODY HYDRATED THROUGHOUT
A nutritious post-exercise meal doesn’t just include edibles. It also includes fluids as well, which are essential for preventing dehydration that mostly occurs after the workout. Fluids are also essential for maximising your workouts. As a matter of good post-workout nutrition, consider drinking 2 to 3 cups of water shortly after finishing your workout. Drinking water is an excellent way of replacing lost fluids after exercising.
Apart from water, you can take a healthy sports drink. Drinking a sports drink can give you additional energy thanks to the carbs contained in the drink. However, avoid sports drinks that are laden with artificial or processed sugars. Such unhealthy sugars are blamed for spiking sugar levels which in return makes you susceptible to diabetes.
4. FOR COUNTERING FATIGUE
Failing to observe good post-workout nutrition leaves the body feeling fatigued, which can get in your way of recovery after your workout. A post-workout meal with low nutritional levels can make you feel fatigued throughout the day. Furthermore, you risk getting disoriented due to low blood sugar occasioned by tedious workouts. Without adhering to proper nutrition when eating after exercise, you deny your body the vital building blocks it needs to maximise your workouts, especially if you are performing strenuous muscle-building exercises.
5. IT IMPROVES THE QUALITY AND SIZE OF THE MUSCLES
Even though the greater majority of the workout enthusiasts are aware that what they eat after working out determines whether their bodies will be replenished or not, a significant number of people don’t understand that post-workout nutrition can affect their muscles as well. Apart from ensuring your energy is replenished after your workout, a good post-workout meal is vital for enhancing the quality and the size of your muscles. First, it does this by ensuring that the damage caused by exercise is repaired.
6. RESTORE GLYCOGEN LEVELS
When you are exercising, the body will use up the glycogen present in your muscles. This can make the body to be completely depleted of glycogen after your workout sessions. With a nutritious post-workout meal, you equip your body with the right nutrients it requires to replenish the glycogen levels. Apart from restoring glycogen levels, post-workout nutrition further helps enhance recovery and increase protein synthesis.
What you consume after your workout sessions is vital to determine if you will achieve your fitness goals or not. Therefore, embrace good post-workout nutrition in anything you eat after exercising.