When it come to exercising it can be easy to place all of your focus on your “prep” and making sure that you have everything set in place before you hit the gym but the mistake that we often make is forgetting about the importance of refuelling afterwards.
Reaching optimal physical performance requires careful attention to both pre and post work out meals and refuelling after a workout is that last crucial step that is necessary to take if you want to ensure that you are looking after yourself properly as well as getting the most out of your training.
Why is refuelling post workout is so important?
Our bodies need time to recover and repair after the intensity of exercise. It’s at this time, immediately after exercise, that your muscles are primed to take up protein so that they can repair damaged tissue. Therefore, if you’re really interested in building up your body, refuelling shortly after you workout is within your best interests. Your glycogen levels will likely have depleted due t the exercise that you have just carried out and it’s important to restore these as part of the post workout recovery process.
How quickly after a workout should you begin the process of refuelling?
Understandably, some people find themselves feeling nauseous after exercise, particularly if the workout was on the more intense end of the spectrum. If this is you, don’t worry about giving yourself half an hour to let your body calm down a little but it is important not to miss the window of opportunity post workout so try not to leave it much longer than 30 minutes. You want to avoid leaving it to the point where your blood sugar starts to plummet because it’s at this point that you find yourself reaching for the chocolate bar rather than the healthy alternative that you had originally planned to have.
How do I refuel post workout?
Isotonic sports drinks are a safe bet for this. They’re the perfect way to replace the electrolytes lost from your body while exercising. Complete the job with snacks of high carbohydrate foods every 2 hours until your next meal.
Alternatively, here are a few ideas for post-workout snacks that you can easily pack and keep in your gym bag for eating on the go during those post gym errands:-
1. Dried Apricots:
– Rich in Potassium
– Be warned though: A quarter cup of these post gym treats contains 17.25 grams of sugar so this isn’t a snack you want to be going too crazy with.
2. Raisins and Peanuts
– The perfect mix of carbs, protein and fat
3. Banana with a tablespoon of Almond/Nut Butter
– Banana: High in fructose and a high glycogenic carb that your body can quickly convert to energy
– Almond/Nut Butter combines this with protein and a small amount of healthy fat
4. Tuna on Whole Wheat
– 4 ounces of tuna on one slice of whole wheat bread = an ideal protein/carb mini-meal
Remember: Finish, then refuel fast.