Diet is as important as a good exercise regime. For without proper nourishment and recovery, your workout won’t be as fruitful as it should be.
The best way to figure out what foods are important after working out, we need to understand how physical activity affects our bodies.
As you exercise, muscles use up the glycogen stored in them as fuel. Consequently, this depletes the glycogen reserve and some proteins may also get broken down and/or damaged in the process.
It follows that after working out, your body will embark on a mission to restock the depleted glycogen and repair the damaged muscle proteins.
This means that your post-exercise diet should contain carbohydrates and proteins.
The amount of glycogen used up during a workout depends on type and intensity of exercise. For instance, endurance sports such as running and swimming require more glycogen than resistance sports such as weightlifting.
Consequently, those who engage in endurance sports need to consume more carbohydrates than those who engage in resistance sports.
Experts recommend consuming an average of 1.2 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body weight. Hence, someone who weighs 80kg will need to consume 96 grams of carbohydrates soon after exercising (within 30 minutes).
Consuming proteins immediately after exerting supplies your body with amino acids necessary for rebuilding proteins. Proteins also play a vital role in rebuilding of muscle tissue.
Experts recommend consuming an average of 0.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight. This means someone who weighs 80kg will need to consume about 32grams of protein after exercising (within 30 minutes).
Consuming proteins and carbohydrates immediately after exercise also has the advantage of maximised synthesis.
This is because insulin, which aids in glycogen synthesis, is better secreted when carbohydrates and proteins are consumed together.