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Everyone’s guide to post-workout recovery nutrition

Everyone’s Guide to Post-workout Recovery Nutrition

What you need to eat for proper recovery after a workout depends on the type of movements or exercise routine. For the fitness buff who does a 30-minute routine several times a week, recovery nutrition is not much of an issue. But for those cramming to lose a few inches in time for the prom, or under intense training for the big game, it is a big part of the deal.

A good post-workout recovery meal plan should be designed to replenish what was lost during the activity. When you exercise, you spend on energy, burn calories and shed loads upon loads of sweat. Therefore, you need to re-hydrate yourself and refuel your muscles.

Thirst is the most compelling sensation when our body is engaged in any strenuous activity. And to properly quench that thirst, drink less water and gulp down glycogen-rich fruit juices. Fruit juices not only replace lost fluid but also calories and carbohydrates. Highly recommended for this job are cranberry, apple and grape juice. Smoothies and milk shakes are also good options with have high nutritional values.

Our muscles need high-calorie carbohydrates to fuel its everyday activities. One serious workout session burns calories and depletes blood sugar. You need to consume carbohydrates and replenish what was lost. So, if you are on a low-carb diet, think twice before embarking on a hard and intense fitness routine.

Because our muscles are made of protein, it is best recommended to consume both carbohydrates and protein right after a workout. Carbohydrates replenish the fuel while protein repairs the energy machine. Our muscular system needs protein for growth and repair. This could come in the form of a peanut butter sandwich, fruit yogurt, oatmeal pudding or cereal with milk.

The immediately visible by-product of exercise is sweat. Some people measure the intensity of their workout by the amount of sweat they produce on their backs and foreheads. When you sweat, you lose both water and sodium. Sodium is needed in fluid retention and prevention of dehydration. Replenish sodium by eating salty foods like salted crackers, pretzels and salted nuts.

Finally, the most important part of recovery nutrition is rest. After an intense workout, reward yourself with a nice good night sleep. What you have eaten goes down the drain if you do not give your body the time to actually use it. Take a rest to refuel and recharge. Take a rest to heal and repair. It is in the natural order of things. After a good exercise and a nutritious post-workout meal comes a good night sleep.

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