Why is it Important to Eat After a Workout?
After intense training that may consist of lifting weights or high intensity intervals for cardio, it is important to consume both carbohydrates and protein. Having a meal with these two macronutrients can help an individual recover properly from their workout.
During a workout, glycogen stores become depleted and muscle proteins begin to breakdown. According to an article written by Ryan Andrews, post-workout nutrition is important to replenish glycogen, decrease protein breakdown, and increase protein synthesis. This will help to decrease soreness, enhance ability to build muscle, and improve immune function.
What to Consume Post-Workout
It is necessary to have protein to aid in protein synthesis and carbohydrates to increase muscle glycogen. Glycogen enhances the role of insulin in transporting nutrients to cells. The types of carbohydrates and proteins to be consumed can be chosen based on personal preference. For example, some people may choose to consume protein by drinking a protein shake, while some people may choose to eat a piece of chicken. Choosing a liquid over whole food will not make much of a difference because both provide nutrients to an individual to aid in post-workout recovery. Examples of carbohydrates that people can eat after training include sweet potatoes, brown rice, vegetables, oats, cereal, fruits, etc. Protein sources may include chicken, turkey, egg whites, beef, fish, whey protein, etc.
It is beneficial for those who exercise to supply their body with nutrients within a two-hour period after they are finished training. This will provide the body with what is necessary to help their muscles grow and recover.