Post-exercise recovery is critical to get
the most out of exercise and maximize your exercise for tomorrow.
Many early morning exercisers may run off to work feeling
energized, but become more fatigued as the day progresses. Similarly,
after-work exercisers may feel great leaving the gym, but drive home
feeling hungry, and as a result of ignoring the little hunger, overeat
at the dinner table. Then they are puzzled why they can't lose weight
despite exercising on a regular basis.|
Food experts agree that the need for a recovery food or drink depends largely on the duration
and intensity of the workout. During lower-intensity or easier workouts, you don't need to worry
too much about recovery and making sure that the muscles repair
It's important that if you're plain old hungry after a workout, it
may be nice to have an apple to curb the hunger. It's not so crucial
for fuel recovery, but for hunger, so you don't feel ravenous when you
sit down for dinner.
This is especially important for people who are trying to lose weight.
In general, most people who exercise an hour or more need to replace
lost nutrients. People lose 30 grams to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour of
training or more, depending on the intensity of the workout.
The biggest mistake people can make is to wait too long to replace
The rate of replenishment of carbohydrates into the cell
immediately following a workout is very rapid. You have a 15- to
30-minute window after you exercise, then the rate slows for the next
two hours, and slows even more for the next 24 hours. About two hours
after you exercise it's time for a meal, unless you exercise at 8
p.m., then it's not recommended.
The American Dietetic Association recommends consuming approximately
2/3 of grams carbohydrates per pound of body weight for endurance
athletes within 30 minutes after exercise and again every 2 hours for
up to 6 hours after the workout.
People focusing on strength-training require a greater amount of
protein, 15 to 20 grams, and less carbohydrates for proper recovery,
the experts say. High-quality protein from such sources as
dairy, chicken, fish, whey or soy protein are most recommended with
0.68 grams to 0.91 grams per pound of body weight suggested by
accepted sports nutrition guidelines.
In many instances plain old food is as good for recovery as engineered
sports nutrition products. People working at a moderate intensity may
recover well with a light snack, some crackers or a piece of fruit after
exercise. People who exercise at higher-intensity levels may consume
a half a bagel topped with peanut butter, a banana, or other
carbohydrate-rich breakfast foods to recover. For clients
preferring foods over liquids, a low-calorie yogurt with a piece of fruit
or a cheese stick or a glass of milk works well too. If you like
downing the energy bars, the higher carbohydrate ones (bars) are
generally lower in proteins, so you want to add a glass of low-fat
Proper nutrition is
essential to a healthy body. Ensuring that you eat properly
after working out will help you to get the maximum benefits from
training while raising your energy levels and preparing you for the