Every New Year resolution list includes losing weight and while we all know that an intense workout can help you lose the right amount of weight, very few people know the importance of eating the right kind of food after a session of intense workout.
It is necessary to keep in mind that your workout doesn’t end when you leave the gym or finish that last round of crunches, as choosing the right food is extremely important for one to achieve their fitness goal.
Physical activity uses a lot of energy and it is difficult for the body to recover if energy levels are not replenished in 15 to 30 minutes after finishing a workout session. Choosing the right food after workout comes with a lot of benefits like they can help people recover more quickly, build muscle, and get ready for their next workout session, reported Healthline.
During the process of working out, muscles use up their glycogen energy stores. Some of the muscle proteins also get damaged, especially during strength-based routines.
Vanessa Voltolina, a dietician in the New York City, emphasised on the impact of the right kind of diet and said “eating the right combination of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals help speed the process of rebuilding the used glycogen stores, as well as repairing muscle proteins.”
People should also include some healthy fats in their diet. What one eats after a workout depends on the duration and intensity of their exercise. The type of exercise is also important.
“Higher carbohydrate meals are most beneficial after endurance activities - such as running or cycling - lasting more than an hour. Following strength training, it’s important to consume protein in combination with moderate carbohydrate,” Voltolina told Healthline.
“The ideal timing for consuming a post-workout snack is within 45 minutes but benefits can be seen up to 2 hours after training,” Voltolina added.
Karina Inkster, a vegan fitness and nutrition coach stated that unless you’re an athlete or work out a lot, post-workout nutrition is not as important as other factors.
So, when deciding what to eat after a workout, one has to keep in mind how the whole day fits their exercise goals.
“You want your 24-hour period to look great. If that means amping up your protein content, then by default, your post-workout nutrition meal or snack is probably going to be a little higher in protein,” said Inkster.
However, vegans and vegetarians need to eat protein from varied sources throughout the day to make sure they’re getting enough of the essential amino acids.
Adam Kelinson, a chef and nutritional consultant, said people should also be honest about how much of their workout is actually moderate or high intensity.