If you are keen enough to exercise and workout then you are probably also keen to avoid ruining the fitness gain by eating unhealthily afterwards. In this article we outline a healthy eating post-exercise plan that helps the athlete to re-gain energy.
The key is to not only consume, but to get the balance right between consumption of fluids, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Fluid: When the athlete exercises (s)he loses fluid. Therefore it is important to drink about 18 ounces of water following your exercise. If you sweat to an extreme extent then consume a sports drink with electrolytes.
Calories: It is clearly tempting to just eat anything after you have completed a workout. However this is a wrong-headed idea. Ideally the following plan of action is preferable. Let’s say that you burned 800 calories during your workout. The healthy option is to now re-gain half of that… i.e., 400 calories. Obviously such precision is not essential. Nevertheless if you are serious about health and fitness an approximation is healthy.
Carbohydrates: Almost two-thirds of your calorie in-take should derive from carbohydrates. This is a priority in order to replace loss of muscle energy (glycogen). If your workout was moderate and lasted a little less than an hour… then around 35 grams of carbohydrates is advisable. On the other hand if your workout is tougher than a moderate’s and uses up a lot more energy than the average gym go-er… then around 55 grams is recommended. If you possess high carbohydrate food that is low in whole grains/fibre then you can healthily consume that food now.
Protein: Consuming protein is important and should form part of a post-exercise meal. The role of protein here is to re-build your muscles. A quarter of the post-exercise calories you consume should derive from protein… i.e., around 12-13 grams, whey protein has become one of the most popular sources for fitness enthusiasts.
Fat: Fat is rightly unpopular among health and fitness enthusiasts. Obviously eating a high fat meal after you have exercised would ruin your gains derived from the workout. Nevertheless, ideally, you should include a small amount of fat in the post-workout meal, i.e., around 10 grams. Ideally, you will be eating within an hour of finishing your exercise. Obviously your body may scream at you for a drink! The best part of the immediate post-workout period is that you can healthily reward yourself with an instant re-energizing smoothie, a chocolate drink or an energy bar.
The above content was created on behalf of Powerhouse Fitness a leading online supplier of home gym equipment by Karl Young a sports and fitness enthusiast.