Today, a lot of attention has been given to a fit body, and it is common for people to work out rigorously to lose weight or to build muscle mass. As much as exercise is important to achieve this result, so is a good diet to complement it. And that is where lies the importance of a post work out meal or the meal you eat after a workout.
During a workout, small tears occur in the muscle fibre and the connected tissue and the body gets drained out of fuel sources called muscle glycogen. The muscles wll then attempt to rebuild themselves for which they should be provided with raw materials to accomplish it. The raw material which the muscles need in the refuelling process and to repair the fibre and tissue is what we call as the post work out meal and is considered to be the most important meal for people involved in strenuous workouts.
The post workout meal has to be carefully planned to include the right nutrients in the right ratios. It is very important to understand what type of essential nutrients has to be eaten soon after a workout and what food has to excluded from a post work out meal. So first lets look at the nutrients to be eaten after a work out.
The muscles need carbohydrates as well as proteins to replace their drained fuel sources (muscle glycogen) and to begin the rebuilding process. The richer the post work out meal is, the better it is for the quick recovery of the muscles and the sooner they can get started. The goal of proper post-workout nutrition is to quickly and efficiently refuel the muscles to be bigger and stronger.
A nutrient rich post workout meal should contain a quality carb mixture and a quality protein source. While protein builds muscle, carbohydrates provide an insulin spike, and an excellent transport system for the nutrients to reach the muscle cells. The post workout period is the time when the muscles are most receptive to the food we eat. It is usually referred to as the "free time" by the fitness experts. A time when they can eat anything and not have to worry about it turning into fat. During this time the muscle cells are unbelievably hungry for nutrition and will suck up all you can give them, hence lessening the chance of food remaining unprocessed and storing up as fat in the body.
An Ideal Post-Workout Meal
Try to keep the post workout meal simple and nutrient rich.
o A simple sandwich comprising of a mixture of carbs and proteins like wheat bread or whole grain bread packed with tuna, bacon or a chicken breast with tomatoe, and white sauce would be perfect. This meal or similar will give you all you need for that post-workout recovery.
o Carbohydrate-laden foods such fruit, brown rice, potatoes, pasta are a few foods that helps replace depleted glycogen stores after a workout.
o Protein rich beverages like protein shake, potassium rich fruits like banana, raisins and potatoes restore the potassium lost through sweating.
o Also it is important to stay hyderated by consuming plenty of water better mixed with a bit of sugar and protein powder to improve circulation. Also fruits that contain a lot of water like watermelon, oranges or grapes helps body recoup its fluid level. Fruit smoothie is also a good idea.
After having known the nutrients required to include in a post work out meal, lets look at the food to be avoided after a workout.
Fat slows down digestion. Hence it also slows down the digestion of carbs and proteins that you consume after a workout. Therefore fatty foods should be avoided after a workout.
While fibrous food is best for a normal meal, it should be kept at a minimal level in a post workout meal since it tends to hinder the quick absorption of glycogen in the muscles.
So guys! Good luck and get going. You have just read some great tips to a healthy post workout meal. Go ahead and kick start your day at the gym.