You have started the new season to the fullest. This year, you will exercise routinely to take care of yourself and tone your muscles. But doubts arise in your mind, for example, what should you eat after exercising?
The first thing we need to consider in this regard is that this will depend on the individual goal of each person, as well as on the intensity and type of training. But the truth is that some general advice can be given. As for good post-workout foods, I’d say it’s always very important that the post-workout meal consists of a hydrate and a protein so we can achieve good muscle recovery, both structurally and on a reserve level.
In general, the most important nutrients when it comes to recovering after a session of exercise are protein and carbohydrates. Although some micronutrients, such as sodium or potassium, also have a fundamental role in this recovery, since they will help us stay hydrated.
Of course, you should know that it is important to take into account that hydrate, such as a fruit or a white cereal (some bread, some rice, pasta…), needs to be absorbed quickly. Preferably fast-absorbing carbohydrates will help us increase said protein synthesis and will also support the recovery of glycogen stores.
Protein, a fundamental role
Regarding protein, its quality is more indifferent, since it has been seen that what is important is the quality that is consumed throughout the day and not at a specific time, so any protein source would be worth it; yoghurts, turkey, chicken fillets, cans of tuna, nuts or vegetable drinks.
Protein helps us to repair and build new muscle mass, since it promotes the synthesis of new proteins and stops muscle catabolism that occurs during and after training.
An important tip is that this meal is not separated too much from the end of training so that recovery is faster. In addition, you always have to accompany it with good hydration, without hydration what we eat or have trained is useless, we will not recover well.
Examples of post-workout nutrition
- Natural or soy yogurt + natural nuts + fruit (you can eat it as is or mix it).
- Protein shake + piece of fruit.
- Lean cold cut sandwich (turkey, ham, york…).
- Tuna can + glass of vegetable drink.
- Forest fruit smoothie with semi-skimmed milk.
What foods can I choose?
- Banana: its carbohydrate ratio is higher than that of other fruits, and it is also considered the main source of potassium. A good option for those looking to tone muscle.
- Nuts: their contribution in healthy fats works as a natural anti-inflammatory. We highlight its contribution also in certain optimal minerals in recovery.
- Egg: stands out for its contribution in proteins of high biological value.
- Fresh cheese or cottage cheese: they stand out for their high protein content and low fat content.
- Chicken: best option within meats for its high protein content and low in saturated fat.
- Salmon: we highlight its protein content and anti-inflammatory effect thanks to the omega 3 it contains.
- Potato and sweet potato: fast-absorbing carbohydrate sources.
- Oats: source of carbohydrates that will help us replenish muscle glycogen.