It is usual that many people do not know how to eat after performing a physical activity. Many have heard that it is important to eat well after training, but they often make mistakes that can negatively affect their recovery. So today let’s talk a little about the importance of post -workout meals and what are the options we have.
Our food is always the pillar on which the rest of the things we do is based. Maybe our goal is weight loss, athletic performance, hypertrophy or simply be in good physical health. Our diet is as important as our training program. What we eat every day paves the way for us to improve our performance.
What to eat after training? This is a recurring question that is repeated over and over again.
Nutrition after a training session is one of the most important recovery factors we can control. We just spent a specific period which may vary from 30 minutes to 1 and a half hours draining our glycogen stores and pounding our muscles. We should not only nourish ourselves to recover energy lost from the grueling workout session, but it is also important to eat well if we want to help our body in the formation of lean muscle.
This post-exercise phase has been widely studied since there seems to be what is known as a “window of opportunity” that extends from the end of a workout to about 45 minutes. If the proper nutrients are provided during this period, the musculoskeletal system will start repairing the damage induced by exercise, increase protein synthesis and start to replenish glycogen stores. During this period, the muscle cells are more sensitive to the anabolic effects of insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas).
In short, apart from drinking water before, during and after (although this is something we should know by now) our post-workout meals should contain two essential macronutrients: proteins and carbohydrates.
Post workout meals and Protein
While we know that to gain muscle protein synthesis is necessary, therefore this nutrient that provides amino acids cannot be missing in the post-training meal, and it can also be useful in the presence of fast-absorbing carbohydrates that favor production or maintenance levels of insulin, an anabolic hormone par excellence.30 to 45 minutes after finishing training, they represent a window of opportunity in which your muscle fibers are more receptive.
If you consume adequate fluids, protein, and amounts of carbs during those 30 minutes, you will repair your muscle fibers, helping them to grow strong, and recover to be ready for the next workout. If you wait more than 30 to 45 minutes, your body will have already produced cortisol, a hormone that causes accumulation of fat in the torso and muscles deprivation among other unwanted side effects.
Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates
Our body takes longer to digest complex carbohydrates than simple carbohydrates. Foods that are low in glycemic index help regulate blood sugar, as they are digested at a slower speed. These carbohydrates help repair and rebuild muscles during a workout routine. The nutrients that provide complex carbohydrates are essential to replenish your muscles. Carbohydrates with a glycemic index below 70 are considered low-glycemic carbohydrates. Some of the sources of these carbohydrates include vegetables, bananas, legumes, peanuts and apples
Also during these 30 minutes, your body will replenish your muscles with glycogen, so it is essential to consume enough carbs.
So clearly in the post training and to take advantage of the anabolic window period, you can not miss protein and carbohydrates, both of easy assimilation and digestion, so that they reach quickly into the bloodstream.
Avoid fats that are not monounsaturated
Saturated Fats inhibit digestion of nutrients, and a post-workout that is high in saturated fats is not the best option to choose. Though many nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats containing the form that is perfect after a workout.This form of fat helps maintain higher testosterone levels. Testosterone is essential for protein synthesis, so you want to keep the level of this hormone as high as possible during the post-workout.
In summary, it can be said that the goal of nutrition during this phase corresponds with the following objective:
Move the catabolic state of metabolism to metabolic state of anabolism
Help increase removal rate of waste products derived from metabolism, promoting blood flow
Replenishing glycogen stores
Start tissue repair throughout the entire state of muscle growth
Reduce muscle damage and strengthen the immune system
Knowing all the above and considering the nutrients as well as the ideal time for consumption, here are some examples of food preparations or ideal post workout meals if you want to gain muscle:
Ripe banana smoothie with skim milk.
Protein shakes with a tablespoon of honey.
Nonfat yogurt with a handful of raisins.
A glass of skim milk with a protein bar.
Orange juice with a slice of cheese.
Bowl of skim milk with oatmeal and honey.
Protein supplement and orange juice.
Skimmed yogurt with sliced ripe banana.
Some other suggestions that can be combined, are:
Walnuts and almonds
Cereals (preferably whole grain) wheat, rice, etc. ..
Meat and fish
How to combine them?
A glass of milk with cereals and nuts
A glass of milk with fruit
Sandwiches of wholemeal bread with turkey, tuna, scrambled eggs
Half cup of brown rice with 200 grams of chicken
2 cups broccoli with 200 grams of hake
1 protein shake with 20 grams of oatmeal
150 g potato with 80 grams of tuna
Perfect post-workout meal
• 1 whey protein shake (mixed with water)
• 1 cup of rice with 4 tablespoons raisins
549 calories, 45 g protein, 91 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat
The protein shake is a great source of amino acids, and rice and raisins provide concentrated carbohydrates to increase insulin levels, regenerating muscle.
Do you want to gain mass? Just increase the amount of rice, half a cup more. Do You want to burn more fat?Eat only half a cup of rice and 1 tablespoon of raisins. You will have noticed that the combinations are endless and depend on each person’s sex, age, biotype, your sport, energy needs.
One way to achieve good results and an optimal nutrition is to consider the above details and plan our meals in advance. As we prepare the backpack or sports equipment, remember to leave prepared your post-workout meal before leaving home.