Ever thought through your diet post workout? Have you always been doing it right?
“Your post-workout nutrition depends on the length and intensity of the workout, your goals and when you’ll be eating your next meal,” says Cynthia Sass, Performance Nutritionist, New York City and Los Angeles.
And in some cases, it’s ok if you skip out on your meal post workout.
Today in our article, we will talk about the types of workouts and the types of meals that can be eaten after these workouts:
1) Non-Intense Workout
An exercise as simple as a walk or yoga does not require an immediate intake of carbs or proteins. Especially, if your goal is to lose weight.
“If your workouts are light-to-moderate and you aren’t engaging in muscle-building strength training, an extra post-workout meal or snack may work against you by preventing weight loss or contributing to weight gain,” Sass says.
2) More than an Hour of Workout
“Even if you did 20 minutes of intervals, that’s hard, but if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not worth the calories to eat right after,” says Nutritionist Mike Roussell.
If you are exercising for six days a week including a three-day weight training and three-day cardio, then in no way will the routine reduce the glycogen stores in your muscles in a matter of 20 minutes.
On the other hand, if you are doing long-intense sessions that break muscles down, only then will you need to follow it up with a decent dosage of protein. Protein after workout helps stop muscle breakdown and starts the rebuilding process, so if you skip a meal after a long intense session you’re hindering recovery Roussell explains.
“Exercise itself stimulates muscle protein synthesis, and if you add protein after exercise, it enhances the body’s ability to repair and rebuild muscle,” he says. “If you’re not getting adequate protein to fuel recovery, during your next session your muscles won’t be as strong, and you won’t progress as fast,” says Roussell.
Post-workout protein shakes are popular among those looking to gain muscle because our bodies easily digest and use liquid protein. This quickly aids the muscle-building process, Roussell explains.
However, Sass recommends otherwise. She prefers real food over protein shakes and suggests a combination of lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables, whole carbs and water.
This meal is recommended for workouts such as:
1) Intense Hour-Plus Workout
When you are following a long rigorous strength training workout for over an hour, then it’s preferable to eat a post-workout meal or snack.
2) Before Another Rigorous Session
According to Roussell, it is essential to have a meal post workout if it lasted for two days and more than an hour per day.
He further adds that it is beneficial but not a compulsory to have something post workout under the following two circumstances:
“A strictly plant-based diet isn’t innately robust with amino acids and would benefit from an additional dose of complete protein after exercise to support muscle building and recovery,” Roussell says.
By doing so, you are getting the same amino acids required to boost muscle synthesis.
Stress comes naturally when you exercise but it is something that the body can recover from. However, if the body experiences stress outside the workout routine, then that can definitely interfere with its ability to perform.
“When under stress, what is a normal dose of exercise is too much for the body to handle. But you can use nutrition to counteract those negative effects of stress,” says Roussell.
The nutrition you consume after a workout is as important as the workout itself. Choosing the right food is necessary, otherwise your workout will not be able to yield the desired weight loss results.
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