I recently ran home after the gym to catch the end of the Bachelorette and was having trouble deciding what to eat post-workout. Eating the right nutrients after you workout is just as important as what you eat before — so figuring out the right combo can be tough. And decisions can get especially tough when the Bachelorette is about to start and you’re super exhausted. So for that next post-workout dinner decision, here’s a detailed guide to the best post workout meals.
Eating and Physical Activity
To understand how the right foods can help you after exercise, it's important to understand how your body is affected by physical activity.
When you're working out, your muscles use their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged.
After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins.
Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help your body get this done faster. It is particularly important to eat carbs and protein after your workout.
Doing this helps your body:
• Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
• Increase muscle protein synthesis (growth).
• Restore glycogen stores.
• Enhance recovery.
Getting in the right nutrients after exercise can help you rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. It also helps stimulate growth of new muscle.