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The best foods to eat for recovery after a gym session – Times of India, The Times of India

The best foods to eat for recovery after a gym session – Times of India, The Times of India

Are you a frequent gym-goer or someone who never misses on the Zumba class? Well, fitness and workout are surely energising and addictive but only if done in the right manner and with the right fuel aka nutrition. Effective nutrition is required as a daily part of your routine even when you are not working out, but close attention should also be paid to what you eat before and after your workout sessions.

During exercise, your body uses glycogen (the storage form of glucose) for energy. Once you finish off your exercise sets, muscle tissues start breaking down and also become depleted of glycogen stores. To recover muscles from wear and tear, proteins are essential while carbohydrates are required to build upon depleted glycogen stores. So, consuming foods that contain both protein and carbohydrates – minutes after the workout replenishes energy stores and work towards restoring muscle tissues. So, try to refuel as soon as you can after the workout because if you wait for about two hours, the body’s recovery gets reduced to almost 50 per cent. So, in case your gym or fitness studio is far off from where you stay, make sure to carry your post-workout meal along with your gym essentials.

The best nutrition guidelines for optimum recovery after an intense workout include:
Count on carbohydrates
Do not fall for any fad diet trend that requires you to cut down on carbohydrates because it is the main source of energy for your body and about 90 – 90% of the daily calorie intake should be derived from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are metabolized and broken down in the form of glucose that is instantly used up for energy and extra glucose is stored as glycogen in your muscles. Easy to digest carbohydrates are your best choice after a workout.

Focus on quality protein
An average person needs around 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Say, a person of 60 kilograms of weight would need grams of protein to meet the body requirements of protein. A strength athlete may require up to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. Focus on consuming high-quality protein foods such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, or milk.

One of the best foods for recovery is milk as it provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. It also contains casein and whey protein.

Hydration is the key
Replacing fluids during and after a workout is critical. Drinking water is the best solution to replace fluid losses. Apart from plain water, you may have a glass of vegetable juice containing the blend of veggies like spinach, kale, amla, beetroot or carrot. Another excellent choice is coconut water which is also an amazing remedy to restore electrolyte balance.

What to eat after a workout
All you need to do is prepare the right combination of carbohydrates and proteins to ensure maximum nutrition after workout:

– Protein shake made with half a banana, almond milk, yogurt, and hemp seeds (excellent protein source)

– Salad with roasted chickpeas, light olive oil, and vinegar

– Sauteed or steamed vegetables with tofu

– Quinoa bowl with blackberries and pecans

– Whole-wheat bread with raw peanut butter

– Burrito with beans, brown rice, guacamole, and salsa

– Grilled chicken with sautéed or steamed vegetables

– Omelet stuffed with sautéed vegetables and avocado (1/4 of fruit, sliced)

– Grilled salmon with a baked sweet potato

– Whole-wheat bread with tuna mixed with hummus, spinach leaves

Right fuel after workout is essential for a speedy recovery and to energize your body overall. Ensure to abide by these tips to ripe maximum benefits out of your workouts.

– By Namami Aggarwal, Nutritionist

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.

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