If you want to achieve maximum success in sport, you should not only regularly set new training stimuli, but also optimally coordinate your diet with your training plan. Regardless of whether your priority is to lose weight, burn fat, or build muscle: The time after training, in particular, determines how effective the pumping and sweating really was. With the right food after exercise, you get the best out of yourself and your body.
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Do I have to eat anything after exercising?
Yes absolutely! Even if you are about to lose weight. At this point, your body lacks important nutrients that you have to supply quickly so that it can function properly again. If you don’t eat anything after exercising, you run the risk of muscle loss sooner or later.
Protein for muscle building and regeneration
Your muscles need a good portion of protein, especially after strength training, so you should put a special focus on protein-rich foods in your post-workout diet. Your muscles are made up of proteins, more precisely of protein building blocks, the amino acids. The body produces its own protein from food protein (also called protein biosynthesis in technical jargon), which it then uses, for example, to build new muscle fibers.
Fats optimize protein absorption
After your workout, you should rely on easily digestible nutrients, such as quick carbohydrates and high-quality proteins. Food with high-fat content, on the other hand, increases the time it remains in the stomach. Therefore, the food you eat before exercise should also be low in fat, otherwise, you will have a heavy stomach during exercise. After training, you can consume fat in moderation and ideally in combination with protein-rich, low-fat foods such as poultry or low-fat quark.
When is the best time to eat after exercising?
You can have your first, small fitness snack, for example in the form of a shake, low-fat quark, or cottage cheese with fruit, directly – or up to 30 minutes – after your workout. 2 hours later at the latest, however, it is time for the right post-workout meal, which is made up of foods rich in carbohydrates or proteins. Around 60 percent of the energy that you put in your body after the workout should consist of carbs in order to replenish the energy stores quickly after the workout.
Rest after exercise: promote regeneration
The stress of sport leads to tiny tears in the muscles that need to be repaired. And for this, your body not only needs sufficient protein from food but above all rest and time. He not only uses this regeneration phase to heal micro-injuries but also to strengthen the muscle fibers. This process is called super-compensation. If you set a new training stimulus too early, the effect will be lost and you will even lose performance.
Drinking water after exercising is a must
You lose a lot of fluids through sweating. Therefore, you should fill your water reservoirs gradually and during the workout. Your body is then not only more efficient, but it can also regenerate better. Water plays an important role in many metabolic processes. It ensures that the nutrients are transported to where they are needed and waste products are flushed out of the body.