Although you may have heard that it is important to have a good meal plan prior to exercise, the same can be said for when your workout is over. Nutrition and healthy meal planning should be part of the post-exercise program because this can help your muscles to recover after putting them through their paces and can even help with your weight loss goals.
After exercise, your healthy meal plan should consist of ingredients like protein, complex carbs and even healthy fats, which can help your muscles re-energize. Good suggestions for healthy food include some of the many meal replacement snack bars and shakes as well as lean protein meats served as an entrée or part of a sandwich on whole grain bread.
The recommendation about eating protein within two hours of working out as a way to further muscle production has been verified by a study of 48 men who both benefited from an increase in muscle protein and essential water absorption after they consumed a protein drink after their exercise routine, according to a published report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It has also been found that it is beneficial to have some sort of carbohydrate like a piece of fruit or juice after exercising to restore glycogen, which has been found to help encourage the body to continue exercising on a regular basis. Other food options to consider after working out include eating nuts, yogurt, string cheese and peanut butter. A regular meal, consisting of lean protein, a starch, and vegetables also helps your muscles recover after exercise.
Nutrition for your post-exercise routine doesn’t just have to be about healthy food. It should also include healthy doses of water to help rehydrate your body after sweating. Of course, it is a good idea to sip water during exercise, but you should also consider a tall cool glass about an hour after your workout has finished.
And, although the title states that this article is about what you should eat after exercise, it is also beneficial to include what might not be good to eat after a workout. It’s best to avoid any food products that are high in sugar as well as to skip sugary juices and even some of the “recovery” drinks as these are full of sugar, according to an article on FoodConsumer.org.
Many of the meal replacement programs today offer a variety of choices that meet these nutrition guidelines for what to eat after exercise, making healthy food prep and clean-up a snap since the food is ready for you to just eat and heat. This leaves more time for exercising, recovery, and relaxation before another busy day.
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