Post-workout nutrition and nutrition as a whole are very important for our health. Simply put, nutrition boils down to two things. Nutrition is about what we need to put in our bodies and how much of these things we need for our bodies to function. For those of us who intend to improve our physical condition and increase our physical attractiveness, this is especially important.
In fact, proper diet is more important than exercise. A poor diet can invalidate your hard work in the gym. This applies if you are trying to bulk up, lose weight, or even condition your body for certain sports or activities. After a workout, there are two things that our bodies need more than anything else. These two things are carbohydrates and protein.
During a workout, we expend glycogen. Glycogen is a sugar stored in our muscles. This sugar is more or less an energy source for us. Consuming the proper amount of carbohydrates allows our glycogen to replenish for later uses. Many bread based foods are high in carbohydrates. In addition, pasta is also high in carbohydrates. However, there are alternatives that are more healthy if you do not wish to go down either route.
Sweet potatoes contain carbohydrates as well as beta carotene, which is essential for eye and skin health. Legumes, such as lentils and peas, have complex carbohydrates which are more likely to satisfy your hunger. Certain fruits, especially if dried, are high in carbohydrates. This is not an exhaustive list of healthy sources of carbohydrates. With this knowledge in mind, there are a significant number of options that are available for you to obtain the right amount of carbohydrates after a workout.
Of course, the consumption of carbohydrates is only one part of a complete post-workout meal. Putting the proper amount of proteins in your body is just as important. The purpose of protein is to restore the structural integrity of the muscles following a workout. How much protein you need is dependent on your body and how much energy you use during your workout.
Peanut butter, eggs, and various forms of meat are high in protein and can do much to satisfy your protein requirements. Broccoli and legumes are an alternative source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Again, the protein sources mentioned here are not an exhaustive list. As one could probably gather, it is best to eat both carbohydrates and proteins in order to maximize the effects of a post-workout meal.
In many cases, only eating the usual three meals a day is not sufficient for various fitness goals. Researchers reference the “anabolic window” in which there is a limited amount of time for an athlete to take in nutrients for maximum results. There are others who claim that this “anabolic window” does not exist due to the lack of definitive evidence. Either way, it is necessary to properly space out several meals throughout the course of the day.
In conclusion, taking in the proper amount of proteins and carbohydrates is crucial for obtaining the best results possible from a workout. It is also necessary to consume the needed amount depending on the characteristics of your body and how much you expend during your workout. There are several ways to get protein and carbohydrates; it is all about what you prefer and what you can eat. After having been armed with this knowledge, achieving your fitness goals should be that much more easier.