Do you want to eat a cookie? We feel you. When you’re looking for post-workout nutrition there are some guidelines that are both unexpected and clear (like the mentioned cookie)–to be aware of. Below are five of the most common foods to stay clear of after you’ve burned off calories on your run, ride miles on your bike, squat in your boot camp class or whatever you do to get your groove on.
Important to note: “Eating after a workout is crucial to maximize recovery. It’s a great opportunity to replenish your muscles, lessen inflammation, and aid in building or maintain muscles,” says Erin Kenney, RD MS LDN CPT, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and the the CEO of Nutrition Rewired. Make sure you snack on nutritious food items such as these 16 snacks after a workout fitness experts recommend, and other healthy foods.
Post-workout is the perfect occasion when it’s acceptable to not eat the salad or at the very least, combine it with something different. “Salads are packed with fiber, and they need more energy to allow the stomach to digest. Following a workout most blood gets taken away out of your digestive tract, which makes it an ideal option to eat a meal late in the day.” Says Kenney. “Instead you should opt for replenishing food sources like carbohydrates and protein, such as a smoothie that includes protein powder and bananas. “
If your workout lasts less than 60-90 hours, Kenney says it’s unlikely to require any kind of sports drink. “Eating healthy meals and snacks , and drinking plenty of water will replenish electrolytes that have been lost and replenish glycogen stored in the body,” she says. “Most drinks for athletes are high in refined sugars as well as additives which aren’t great for those looking to improve the health of their body.”
Not drinking H2O after you sweat? It’s not a good idea. “Drinking water after exercising is as crucial as drinking it prior to and during. While exercising and sweat, fluids get lost in sweat and must be replenished,” says registered dietitian Stephanie Hnatiuk, RD, CDE, PTS the owner of Stephanie Hnatiuk Performance Nutrition. “The more fluids we lose the more fluids we’ll need!”
As Hnatiuk explains the dangers of dehydration, it can cause headaches and fatigue, as well as muscle cramps and GI problems. “Aim to consume at minimum 2 cups (16 inches) after exercising. Extra electrolytes or fluids may be required when engaging in intense exercise or in humid environments. or if you wear a’salty sweatshirt.”
“You might believe the protein you require after a workout but carbohydrates are equally important. Carbs are your body’s primary energy source and are essential after exercise,” says Hnatiuk. “A combination of carbs and protein will assist in recovering in replenishing glycogen storage, assisting to strengthen and repair muscles, and prepare you for future exercises.” For instance, instead of drinking a shake of protein by water and ice, Hnatiuk proposes drinking the high-protein fruit smoothie instead.
We’ve probably said this previously, but it’s worth being repeated: “It might be tempting to utilize exercising to keep a caloric deficit to lose or maintain weight However, it’s crucial to eat and replenish to maintain lean muscle mass” Kenney says. Kenney. “Eating can help lower your stress hormones as well as keep your blood sugar in check throughout the day.”
Perri O. Blumberg