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After working out, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores by repairing and regrowing those muscle proteins in your system. Glycogen is a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of human's energy storage. It functions as one of the two types of long-term energy reserves.

 

Importance of Eating After a Workout

 

Eating the right food after your workout can help your body regain the energy and nutrients you need. The glycogen stores of your system can be refilled faster than expected if you eat healthy post-exercise food or meal and drink lots of water.

 

Mainly, it is important to eat food that is rich in carbohydrates and protein after the workout. And by doing that, your body can benefit the following:

 

• Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
• Increase muscle protein synthesis and growth.
• Restore glycogen stores.
• Enhance recovery.

     

    When you exercise, your body burns fuel and power from the food you've eaten recently or before the activity. Your muscles start to use the available and remaining protein to rebuild within a few hours of working out. However, your body is especially good at absorbing carbs and protein within 45 minutes after your workout. That is why it is necessary to eat after a good exercise for us to face new happenings.

     

    Healthy Food After Workout

     

    “It all comes down to the carbohydrates and protein,” says Manuel Villacorta, a well-known spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and health blog contributor for The Huffington Post. “They’re the two key things your body needs," he added.

     

    Remember that your body is in recovery mode after your workout. That is why you need a nutrient dense dish. Lean protein and carbohydrates in chicken are examples of food that will fill you up without feeling overly bloated. You can add some veggies cooked in olive oil, too! This dish will give you not just energy, but also significant amounts of antioxidants for energy refill.

     

    The principal goal of your post-workout meal is to furnish your body with the right energy and amount of nutrients for adequate recovery. Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption. Here are the lists that contain examples of simple and easily absorbed foods you can eat 45 minutes after your good exercise.

     

    Carbohydrates

     

    Foods that are rich in carbohydrates, or carbs, can give your body the main types of nutrients you need. In fact, they are the most prominent source of energy for your body, specifically the digestive system, since it changes carbohydrates into glucose. Your body uses this glucose, or sometimes blood sugar, to give power and strength to your cells, tissues, and organs that aid you to face your everyday life.

     

    According to experts, there are only two times of the day to take in simple carbohydrates. Those are the first thing in the morning (breakfast) and after a workout.

     

    First thing in the morning because you are coming off a "fast" and after a workout because it can help you start the complete recovery and muscle growth process.

     

    • Sweet potatoes
    • Chocolate milk
    • Quinoa
    • Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
    • Rice cakes
    • Rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Potatoes
    • Pasta (noodles)
    • Dark, leafy green vegetables  

       

      Protein

       

      Protein is a much-needed nutrient regarding building and improving muscles. They are composed of amino acids, the small building blocks necessary for synthesizing muscle tissues.

       

      “The primary goal post-workout should be to provide your body with an immediate fuel source to prevent it from breaking down muscle tissue for energy,” said Nate Miyaki, nutrition specialist and author of the Intermittent Feast. And because of this, it is advisable for people who are working out to include some fast digesting carbs along with protein after an exercise.

       

      The foods that are rich in carbohydrates will help spare your body’s energy source while the foods rich in protein will help to repair muscle and encourage muscle growth.

       

      • Animal- or plant-based protein powder
      • Eggs
      • Greek yogurt
      • Cottage cheese
      • Salmon
      • Chicken
      • Protein bar
      • Tuna

         

        Fat

         

        Yes, you read it right. Fat is not harmful to eat even after your workout session. Many people assume that eating food rich in fat after exercise slows down digestion and hinders the absorption of nutrients. Well, that is kindly correct since researchers already proved that fat could slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal.

         

        However, it will not reduce its benefits. In fact, fat is essential in our body because it is one of the three primary macronutrients, along with carbohydrate and protein, that we need every day.

         

        Fats are esters of three fatty acid chains and the alcohol glycerol. It is an essential foodstuff for many forms of life, and fats serve both structural and metabolic functions. That is why it still advisable to eat foods that contain fat even after a workout. However, it’s also essential to limit calories that come from unhealthy foods loaded with fat and sugar.

         

        Here are some of the foods you can eat after your good workout:

         

        • Avocado
        • Nuts (especially Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios)
        • Nut butter
        • Dried fruits (trail mix)

           

          Food to Avoid After Workout

           

          Eating a meal with the proper amount of carbs and protein after a workout is essential. It will decrease muscle protein breakdown, increase muscle protein synthesis and growth, restore glycogen stores, and enhance recovery.

           

          Experts recommend eating your post-workout meal within 45 minutes. However, if you're not able to eat at this time after working out, it is best not to go much longer than 2 hours before eating a meal. Aside from that, you must still avoid unhealthy foods.

           

          Avoid eating these types of foods and drinks after putting your body through the massive movements, and chances are good you’ll achieve your fitness and weight loss goals much faster.

           

          • Raw vegetables
          • High-fat fast food
          • Salty snacks
          • Bacon
          • Pizza
          • Soda
          • Milk/Choco drinks
          • Doughnuts, pastries, and sweets

             

            Conclusion

             

            Do not limit yourself to the healthy foods mentioned in this article. Explore and create your own meal if possible and if time permits. You can mix foods you want as long as they are healthy and tastes good. According to Healthline, here are the following meals you can prepare after your workout:

             

            • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
            • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
            • A cut of salmon with sweet potato.
            • Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.
            • Tuna and crackers.
            • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana, and almonds.
            • Cottage cheese and fruits.
            • Pita and hummus.
            • Rice crackers and peanut butter.
            • Whole grain toast and almond butter.
            • Cereal and skim milk.
            • Greek yogurt, berries, and granola.
            • Protein shake and banana.
            • Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans.
            • Multi-grain bread and raw peanuts.

               

              There’s a saying, “You can’t out-train a bad diet." That means, no matter how hard and eager you work out, you’ll still get fat if you eat unhealthily and junk foods. This statement holds right, but it doesn’t mean hard exercises can’t lessen the impact of diet cheats.

               

              Aside from eating foods rich in carbs and proteins, and a little fat, it is also necessary to drink plenty of water. Drinking water is a must not just AFTER the workout, but also BEFORE the start of your routine. When you are healthy and adequately hydrated, this ensures the optimal internal environment for your body to maximize fitness outcomes.