A great post workout recovery meal goes beyond just "protein."
In order to completely maximize any workout effort or simply being active, everyone needs to eat properly and help our bodies recover from the severe wear and tear of exercise.
Here are five suggested tips to follow, to prevent burn out & overdoing it, which can cancel the potential weight-loss benefits of exercise & breaking a sweat.
1. Have your meal within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise
Post-exercise meals are all about recharging your body. Simply putting back what you’ve just lost and providing the raw materials needed for repair and healing. Recovery is one of the most important parts of building muscle, strength or endurance.
2. You can have more than just protein
Protein is an essential part of the muscle building process, so it's imperative after exercise, but an ideal recovery meal should also include good fats (also needed for healing muscles and joints), as well as a great deal of nutrient-rich produce and a healthy source of starch such as quinoa, sweet potato or beans. Now depending on your fitness goals, and diet plans, you may or may not be consuming carbohydrates. However it's important to be aware of the overall benefits and requirements of these foods that replenish nutrients. An example of a well balanced great post-workout meal can be something like a smoothie made with grass-fed organic whey protein, whipped with fruit, leafy greens, almond butter or coconut oil, and oats or quinoa, or an omelet made with one whole organic egg and three whites, paired with veggies, avocado and black beans.
3. Don't overeat
We know you've just had a killer workout, you're hungry and deserve to have a feast. If you select the right types of wholesome foods, you just might be able to. However what you don't want to do is simply eat all the calories or greater than you burned during the workout you just had if you are trying to slim down or lose stubborn weight.
4. Keep an eye on the Alcohol
It's 7pm and you just finished a great workout after a long day of hard productive work. Amazing! Now what you don't want to do is go home and have 3 beers or a bottle of wine to just relax. Of course having alcohol in moderation is ok and can even be beneficial however many studies have shown that alcohol can dramatically impact strength, muscle recovery and growth by as much as 40%!
5. Eat Wholesome Natural Foods
"We live in a society that eats so much processed and manufactured food, that I think there's some genuine confusion about what qualifies as a whole food," says Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Whole foods may be organic, or locally grown, or pesticide-free. But they aren't necessarily. The definition of healthy whole foods is much simpler.
"When you eat whole foods, you're getting the food in its natural state," Gidus tells WebMD. "You're getting it intact, with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food."
These nutrients are especially important to replenish your bodies after a grueling gym session.
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