Step 3: The Best Food to Eat After Workout
What you eat after your workout determines how well your body recovers from said sweating session, as well as the type of physical progress you will see.
We go into much more detail here, but in general, if you’ve done a short run or brisk walk, you don’t really need to refuel in any other way, other than your usual meals, Skolnik said. If you are doing a cardio routine (i.e. running, cycling, swimming) for over 60 minutes, eat 30 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein, advised us our nutritionists.
What to eat after a workout is most important after strength training. Here you want to think about 20-25 grams of high quality protein and 10 grams of carbohydrates after weightlifting.
Your muscles are more open to repair and rebuild right after exercise, and they need this protein to rebuild your muscle fibers bigger and stronger. However, as long as you get enough protein in 24 hours, you will still benefit from it, Skolnik said.
Speaking of protein, this is often a hot topic and a popular supplement for exercise enthusiasts. But if you get some of the macronutrients with each meal – around 20 grams or 3-4 ounces – you’ve probably had enough, Skolnik advised.
She does mention, however, that protein powders are a convenient way to meet your daily quota. For reference, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Here are some other nutritional details to keep in mind:
1. Look for a quality protein powder.
If you decide to have a protein powder, look for one with a third-party approval stamp, like the NSF. You also want one that contains leucine, an amino acid that helps stimulate protein synthesis, Skolnik said. WheySoy, egg, and soy protein all contain it, but other plant-based protein powders can add it as well.
Naked Whey Protein is third party tested and contains only one ingredient from small dairy farms that mixes well with any shake – and it’s tasty.
Vega Sport Plant Based Protein Powder is the tastiest and most potent herbal powder you can find, with a wide array of flavors and 30 grams of protein.
2. Start taking creatine supplements.
While the vast majority of workout supplements are snake oil or downright dangerous, creatine supplementation has been shown to actually improve your workout performance – from sprinting power to strength – and helps you keep your training going. lose fat and develop lean body mass.
Studies show that supplementing with creatine, a natural substance found in our muscle cells that helps them produce the energy our bodies run, is safe in the short and long term (up to five years).
Look for a supplement that is 100% creatine monohydrate, like Optimum Nutrition, below. Our experts advise starting with 20 grams of creatine monohydrate (5 g, four times per day) for seven days, then working your way down with a maintenance dose of 2 to 5 grams per day.
3. Consider drinking more tart cherry juice.
To research suggests that tart cherry juice may aid in muscle recovery. Skolnik said polyphenols can help fight muscle pain because they reduce inflammation and provide antioxidants.
The juice also contains natural melatonin, which can help you sleep (it also helps recovery, she said).
4. Eat more foods rich in vitamin C.
Skolnik suggested foods like oranges, peppers, and broccoli because they all contain vitamin C, a nutrient that can help with tissue repair.
5. Stay hydrated.
Water should be your best friend, since every cell in the body needs it to function, Skolnik added. You also need water to regulate temperature, and hydration contributes to blood volume, transporting nutrients to and wastes from tissues and cells, and helps regulate blood pressure.
Without water, the heart has to work harder to pump enough blood to allow oxygen to reach the working muscles. In other words, dehydration makes you more tired even doing the same amount of work. So take another sip of this H2O.
And if you ever do cardio for more than 90 minutes, be sure to replenish your electrolytes. Vellers told us she had a 64-ounce bottle of water that she intended to finish daily to maintain her hydration.
The CamelBak Chute Mag water bottle is an economical, durable and easy to use option.
NUUN is a popular product among the endurance set. Its standard offering comes in tablet form, but the endurance formula is a powder.