The food that you eat after training is very important for muscles, recovery, for the proper functioning of cellular processes. If you think you can reward yourself with your favorite burger or a sweet chocolate covered waffle just because you spent 2 hours at the gym, you're wrong. These are some of the biggest mistakes you can make with post-workout nutrition.
Food after physical exertion aims to restore damage in the muscles and depleted energy reserves in them. So, what you consume post-workout matters a lot. According to livestrong.com, muscles need to replenish lost glycogen stores as well as protein to help repair damaged muscle fibers.
When you exercise, your muscles use all of their stored glycogen, which provides energy, according to he althline.com. Once you're done exercising, especially if it's high intensity, these stores are completely depleted. That is, you need a quick way to recover them. Carbohydrates have exactly that effect, but not refined ones and definitely not sugars.
Among the most suitable carbohydrates for post-workout are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruit, quinoa, beans. They contain complex carbohydrates that provide the necessary glycogen reserves in the muscles.
Intense training, especially weight training, causes muscle injury and damage. They need proteins to “repair” this damage and stimulate muscle growth. Thus, the training will have fulfilled its purpose. That's why it's important to choose the right post-workout meal.
In addition to quality carbohydrates, post-workout food should also contain valuable proteins. They will help muscles recover and build. The best post-workout proteins are eggs, protein powder, yogurt, salmon, lean chicken.
It is recommended to eat food about 30 minutes after training, but not more than 1 hour. This is the time when the body is "hungry" for quality nutrients to help restore energy and muscle fiber, according to Livestrong.com. If you like to drink a protein shake after a workout, you can combine it with some fruit and some yogurt.