In order to make the most of your diet and exercise plan, it is important to plan your pre and post-workout meals carefully. For the most part, a health conscious person will do a fairly good job of regulating his or her diet in conjunction with his or her daily exercise routine. Others need a little more help, especially when thinking about what to eat after a workout. You might get in the habit of pigging out after a long workout. You justify it in your head by saying that you deserve the large and unhealthy meal. This post-workout habit is just one example of what you might try to avoid. The following tips and snack ideas will help you plan your post-workout meals and give you an extra boost in reaching your goals.
Drinking the right fluids post-workout
Thinking about your post-workout fluids is just as important to optimizing your workout as your post-workout meal. For the most part, the average person will lose approximately one litre of fluid during one hour of exercise. Therefore, it is important that you replenish your fluids after you exercise. It is recommended that you consume at least 16-20 ounces of water just after your workout. This will help speed up your post-workout recovery. Another suggestion that you might consider is to weigh yourself both before and after you work out. Then, you will know how many ounces of water weight you have lost, and you can replenish the same amount of fluids. Drinking sports drinks that are high in electrolytes will also help you replenish those fluids. Just remember, though, that not every sports drink is created equally. Many of them contain a lot of sugar. Read the ingredients before choosing your sports drink.
Time your meals
The best time to eat a snack or a meal is 30 minutes to 2 hours after your workout. This is when your body is most ready to refuel. If this doesn’t work for you or you aren’t hungry during that time, your body will still be able to replenish itself during the next 24 hour period. If this is the case, try a smaller snack to tide you over until you have a generous portion of food. And, make sure to eat enough food to sustain yourself until your next workout. Eating too little can cause harm to your body.
Choosing the right post-workout meal or snack
As mentioned before, choosing the right meal plan after your workout is essential to helping you meet your goals. Remember, over indulging after a workout can cause you to go the opposite direction of where you want to be with your diet and exercise plan. On the other hand, over-obsessing with what you eat after your workout can also be unhelpful, and may even cause you undue stress. For the most part, if you are within your typical calorie range each day, then you have no reason to worry. As a general rule of thumb, your calorie intake after your workout should amount to about 50% of the calories that you worked off during your exercise routine. For example, if you burned 800 calories, then you should consume 400 calories post-workout.
The best foods to eat after your workout are rich in complex carbohydrates and protein. In fact, most of your calories should come from carbohydrates. If you prepare meals that contain 60 percent carbs, you are on the right track. Choosing meals and snacks that are rich in carbohydrates allows your body to refuel the muscles. It’s even OK to add some simple carbohydrates during this particular time, as your body will be ready to use these types of foods. Along with the carbohydrates, a healthy amount of protein is also essential to your post-workout meal. If you don’t have enough protein in your system, your body could begin to break down muscle tissue, which can be harmful. It’s best to allow 25% of your consumed calories to come from protein after any workout.
When it comes to getting the right balance of carbs and protein, there are quite a few snacks you can try. A peanut butter sandwich is a great example. You could also try pairing fruit with cheese, which will give you a great combination of sugar and protein. For those who like to work out in the morning, try an omelette with a side of toast. Or, make a smoothie and add in protein powder for some added boost. All of these meals will give you enough energy to refuel your body.