Nutrition is super important, in first place of course to stay healthy, but also to achieve your personal body goals. When it comes to creating a toned or muscular body, it’s not only the workouts you do that gets you there and nutrition really made all the difference for my progression! What you eat before and after your workout counts just as much and I want to share with you the most important (and must-read!) benefits of eating well after exercising.
- Better progress
Nutrition and timing your meals contributes to your results. If you want to change your body and get most out of your workouts, it’s key to get your meals and meal timing on point. Focus on your energy balance and make sure to feed your body with the right macro and micronutrients. Pay attention to what you eat primarily to the workout, but don’t forget to do this afterwards too. Eating after the workout is necessary to fill up the used sources.
- Faster recovery
So beside pre-workout meals to prepare your body for what’s about to come, post-workout meals are just as valuable for recovering from the hard work. When working out, muscle glycogen and muscle protein are broken down in the body. This should be restored by getting in the right nutrients to build muscle more easily. The effect is that it gets you ready for another workout sooner and it can also help decrease muscle soreness.
- Effective muscle building
Working out regularly makes that your body is continuously recovering, which asks for the right amount of protein and (fast) carbs. Not supplying your body with this, will lead to muscle breakdown rather than muscle building, which we don’t want! Whey shakes can be an easy way to consume enough protein. Those shakes are easy to digest so your muscles benefits from it very fast. But besides this fast way of releasing protein, you need a good meal for providing your body for a longer period of time.
- More energy
Carbohydrates are important post workout too, as it provides your body with glucose, which is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver for energy. Intense exercising uses up this glucose stock, so you want to complement this and get energetic again. Carbs get your insulin level up which lowers the just increased stress hormone cortisol and help get amino acids to the muscles. Therefore this is also the right moment to get in your cheat meals consisting of fast carbs!
- Better absorption
After an intense session at the gym, your body gets in a so called anabolic state. This means that the muscles are sort of used up and desire nutrients to recover and grow. To optimally create this rebuild there is the metabolic window: a period of 30-60 minutes after a workout in which the body uses what comes in to the fullest. Always try to get in enough protein and carbs after exercising as soon as possible, to benefit the most and make this the largest meal of the day. Keep your post-workout meal low in fat, because this slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs and protein. There are numerous options to fill this in. Think about rice with chicken, sweet potatoes with fish, or protein pancakes with banana.
Now you know the importance of good post-workout meals, focusing on quality and quantity. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to get better results. Curious about how to get your pre-workout plan right too? Read about it here and here!