What to Eat after a Workout – 3 Goals of Post-Workout Nutrition
Nutrition is important both
before and after you exercise. Drinking or eating the right meal after exercise
can help your body recover while you are preparing for the next practice or
Three goals of post-workout nutrition:
Athletes lose plenty of fluids
and electrolytes through sweat during training and games. It is important to
rehydrate with water or, when necessary, with electrolyte-containing fluids.
For each pound of water lost during training, you should drink 20 to 24 ounces
of fluid. Once you are rehydrated, your urine should be clear or similar to the
color of lemonade.
When exercising at a high
intensity or for an extended period of time, athletes are forced to use up much
of their stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. In order to replenish
glycogen, you should consume a high-carbohydrate meal or a recovery drink soon
Training and matches can put a
great deal of stress and damage on muscle tissue. Consuming moderate amounts of
protein directly following exercise helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue.
What to Eat and Drink
It is important to choose the
appropriate food and drink for your post-exercise refueling. You should aim for
plenty of fluids and carbohydrates, along with moderate amounts of protein.
For optimal recovery, it is best
to consume something within the first 30 minutes to one hour following
exercise. Because rapid recovery is the goal, it is best to avoid large amounts
of fat or fiber, which can slow digestion and the recovery process. Immediately
following exercise, aim for 0.45 to
0.7 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight.
Liquids and solids work equally
well, but most athletes prefer liquids immediately following exercise due to a lack
of hunger. Your recovery meal should also include approximately 0.1 to 0.15
grams of protein per pound of body weight. As an example, an athlete weight 165
pounds should consume approximately 75 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein
immediately following a game or training.
Recover plus a slice of bread with jelly
low-fat chocolate milk plus 1 large fruit
- A large
bagel with jelly and a glass of milk