For years it has been said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast, although this is not entirely correct. I guess many of our readers will agree that given all the effort of our training sessions, the food we make after training is more important than what we have had for breakfast. In fact, I think that the food we make after training is one of the most important meals of the day.
The reason why this is considered is because in hard training we can spend all the glycogen that has been stored in our body, have sweated approximately two liters of water and destroy both muscle cells and red blood cells. That is why what consuming the appropriate foods after training or participating in a competition is so crucial, both for your future performance and for a correct recovery.
Find out what your post-workout nutrition should be based on to enjoy the best possible recovery of your body and your muscles.
What are the goals of post-exercise feeding?
The process of “recovery” actually encompasses several processes such as:
- Replenish the glycogen deposits of our muscles and liver.
- Protein consumption, to help muscle recovery.
- Replace the fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat.
- Support the immune system to treat pain.
What is the critical time period of post-exercise feeding?
Several studies have shown that the cells of our body are much more receptive to being replaced during the first 30 minutes after an intense training session, especially the glycogen deposits. Therefore we can say that the clock starts to run as soon as the athlete starts to cool down. However, we can consider that this is only one of the two phases within nutrition for the recovery of our body: the first phase takes place in the first 30 minutes post-training and the second phase begins one or two hours after training .
What foods should I eat to optimize my muscle recovery?
1.Replenish body glycogen stores
Something essential to replenish glycogen stores and initiate the synthesis of glycogen in our muscles is to take carbohydrates after training. If we do not replenish these deposits, the performance of an athlete in future training may be impaired. Therefore it is recommended that after training consumes 1.2 grams of carbohydrates for each kg we weigh. However, you should test if this amount is right for you, because some people have some difficulty in tolerating such a high amount of carbohydrates just after exercising. In these cases, there is a solution: studies show that ingesting protein (0.2-0.4gr / kg) together with a lower amount of carbohydrates (approximately 0.8gr / kg) produces the same effect.
2.Build and repair our muscles
When we train very intensively or for a long period of time, the protein in our muscles is impaired. That’s why proper nutrition is so important; because we need to help our body rebuilds our muscles. Once the recovery phase begins, our catabolic process decreases and our anabolic process increase for at least 24 hours after training.
Several scientific studies have shown that the intake of essential amino acids and quality protein (since not all proteins are the same) helps this process of muscle reconstruction. These studies suggest that athletes doing resistance training or strength training would benefit from consuming between 20 and 30 gr of high quality protein throughout the first hour post-exercise.
3.Rehydrate our body
Most athletes end their exercise sessions or competitions in which they participate with some liquid deficit. If this deficit is not corrected, this can have a big impact on our future training sessions. In order to rectify this deficit, the athlete must ingest 125-150% of the fluid that has approximately lost, during the 4-6 hours following the exercise session.
To help replenish the electrolytes that we lose after sweating a lot, it is good to add sodium to our liquid. To rehydrate correctly, should be added between 50 and 80mmol. A good option for this is consuming sports drinks that incorporate electrolytes for this purpose. However, we must emphasize that not everyone needs to replace the electrolytes after training, but those who have undergone a very intense and long session, so that they have lost a lot of fluid through sweat.
4.Support the immune system
An intense training can affect the immune system. This suppression takes place while we train, but continues to affect our immune system for hours. This is of great concern to many athletes, given that during those hours our immune function decreases, increasing our risk of suffering an infection. Therefore, to compensate for this we need to consume vitamin C and E, zinc, glutamine or probiotics .
At this moment you will have more clearly that post-training nutrition will be vital if you want to achieve your goals in the field of training. Thanks to the advice received you can have a better orientation of what you should eat after training, which will help your muscle recovery be better and faster. However, you should bear in mind that post-workout nutrition will not be exactly the same if your goal is to gain muscle or improve in endurance sports.
Related Wiki Link: https://www.wikihow.com/Eat-to-Gain-Muscle