Eating the right foods after a workout is a crucial step in helping you reach your goals. Choosing to eat a greasy cheeseburger right after an intense exercise session is usually not the best choice. Your body needs to absorb the right kind of protein and carbohydrates in order to replenish your tired muscles. It is recommended to eat within 45 minutes of working out, because your body is more prone to absorption.
One of the pillars of post-workout nutrition is lean protein. When you work out, you are breaking down muscle tissue. Eating protein within the appropriate window of time after exercising releases necessary amino acids into your bloodstream that help to restore muscles and encourage them to grow. Some great sources of lean protein are chicken, tuna, eggs, lean cuts of beef, and protein powder. A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that twenty grams of protein is an optimal amount to consume after a workout. Lastly, it is widely recommended to avoid fats immediately after working out, because it slows down the digestion of protein and carbohydrates.
Carbs usually have a bad reputation, but they are essential to post-workout nutrition. Glucose gets stored in your body as glycogen, which is used as fuel while exercising. Afterward, it is necessary to restore glycogen with carbohydrates to prevent muscle breakdown. It is recommended to eat fast-digesting carbohydrates that will be absorbed quicker, such as products that contain the natural sugar dextrose. This could include fruits like pineapple and high-starch foods like potatoes, breads, grain cereals, and pasta. Eating around 30-40 grams of carbohydrates after a workout, or about twice the amount of protein you eat, is a popular recommendation.
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