Post workout meal

In our daily hectic schedule, we hardly get any time to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, this lack of attention affects our eating habits, our body structure and subsequently our health. The most convenient way of eradicating this negativeness from our lifestyle is a good workout routine. Not only do we live more healthily, but our mental strength and confidence also boost up. But all may go in vain, if the post workout meal is not done properly. The effectiveness of the workout depends on this meal and this article aims at delineating all the important aspects of it.

Most people tend to get confused regarding their post workout meal. This is because of the various recommendations and advice that pour in from all corners. To stop this, a number of shakes and supplements are also available in the market each with a promise to cater to you the most. But, it is you who must understand your body first. You must understand what it needs and what it doesn’t. Abiding by this, you can plan your post workout meal more correctly and help planning your complex for the day better. which will no more seem the ‘complex food’ of the day.

Time Difference between Workout and Post Workout Meal

Post workout meal should be consumed as soon as possible after the workout. However, it is not that you will get up from doing crunches and start having food. There is a time gap which if maintained, the meal you intake will be highly beneficial. A 30 minutes gap will be ideal, but if that is not possible meal should be taken within 1 hour of the workout. If you can plan ahead, this is not an impossible goal to achieve.

Post Workout Nutrition

Apart from water, which you must drink in a lot of quantity after workout, there is a number of nutrition also which you may consider. After about an hour of workout, the muscles literally starve for nutrients. This is the golden hour. And thus, the meal consumed at this time is most important to build muscle and refill energy sources.

Amino Acid – Amino acids are very crucial since they are the foundation of protein and the body uses it to make muscles, neurotransmitters, bones, hormones, and all other important things. Critical amino acid like glutamine, isoleucine, valine, and leucine are exhausted during workout sessions. A fresh supply of this acid is thus necessary after a workout. And a way to rebuild them is through protein intake. Meat, egg, fish, chicken are to be consumed.

Carbohydrates – The next in importance is the carbohydrates. Exercise exhausts the body’s glycogen storage in the form of sugar. Your body can carry about 1,800 calories of sugar as glycogen, which is sufficient to back any workout. But athletes perform to their optimum when their glycogen content is full.  Unless you are on a carb-restricted diet, some slow-burning carbs after working out will be ideal. Unfortunately, this is the time when the good carbs and the bad carbs switch roles. For example, “oatmeal” or “brown rice” which contains fiber and other nutrients may slow down its digestion. This is the reason it is considered a good carb during the other time of the day. But post workout meal is all about speed. Thus, the best carb intake post workouts are grains like quinoa or amaranth, white potatoes, white rice, and cereals like corn flakes and fruits.

Protein – Post workouts, the muscles need protein for repair and growth. Quick absorption of meal does not necessarily mean that they will be digested easily as well. Therefore, chicken, eggs, meat and fish which are comparatively easy to digest are favorable. Eggs should be consumed with its yolk for better results. But the ideal source of protein is the whey protein powder. Mixing it with any kind of liquid, preferably water will be sufficient protein to your body after a workout. But protein intake should be measured. For each pound of your body weight, 0.15-0.25 grams of protein can be consumed.

What to Avoid Post Workout

Fat is a thing that must be avoided as a part of post workout meal. This is because fat slows down digestion and what our body requires after a workout is a meal that can be digested fast and benefits the body. All the protein and carb that you will consume will take longer hours to get incorporated in your system with the intake of fat. This is absolutely not desirable.

Milk as the Ideal Post Workout Meal

If recovery and rehydration are the target of the post workout meal, then no food suits better than milk. It is a fast protein that easily metabolizes and gets incorporated into the system. 250 ml of milk contains 13 gram carbs, 8 gram protein, and 8 gram fat which makes up a total of 150kcal. It also has 107 gram sodium with 290 milligram calcium. This is why milk is ideal for lean body mass growth and recovery. Milk should be consumed for the following reasons:

It has 80% casein which digests fast and 20% whey which digests slow. A combination of these proteins, according to the researches, result in muscle gain.

The fat present in the milk keeps us full for a long period of time which inversely decrease your appetite and subsequently the loss of fats.

Researches show that milk is superior to water as it also contains electrolytes. This helps in superior rehydration.

Despite the huge protein content in the milk, this is the cheapest wholesome food available.

It is easy to consume milk as it requires almost zero preparation.

An Ideal Post Workout Meal

In order to give you an idea of what can your post workout meal can be like, the following diet plan is given:

A few minutes after workout

  • 2 liters water
  • 1 can of pineapple in juice
  • 4 servings Gatorade powder (orange) (70 grams carbs)
  • 12 oz orange juice
  • High Potency Multivitamin
  • 2 scoops of vanilla whey protein
  • 200 mcg ALA
  • 200 mcg Chromium Picolinate

A few hours later

  • 2 liters of water
  • 3 servings (uncooked) brown rice
  • 2 chicken breasts

Those who follow a strict workout regime would realize that the post workout meals are the most important meals of the day for them. Any carelessness in this case will only result in absolute negative impact of the workout and the target of this physical endeavor will be lost. Thus, if you are serious about maintaining your fat free body and stress free lifestyle, be sure to give post workout meal its due importance.

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