Pushing yourself through a gruelling weights session puts the body, or more specifically the muscles under stress which in turn makes them grow and adapt equating in visible changes. For optimum results though, you must give your body adequate time for recover and rest as well as nourishing food.
Nutrition initiates the recovery process. What you eat, counts.
Working closely with our trainers, we have come up with a few suggestions on result specific post-workout nutrition. High intensity exercises burn through glycogen which is the stored form of carbohydrates (found in the liver and the muscles), reserved for emergency situations.
During anaerobic exercises, such as sprinting, lifting or explosive movement, your muscle glycogen is burnt more drastically. This in turn may result in a deficit of glycogen meaning you will risk 'hitting the wall', or completely running out of energy to push through your workout. This also leads to muscle breakdown.
This is why it is not only important to have foods rich in glycogen prior to working out, but most importantly after a workout when your body is able to replenish its stores at a much more rapid rate.
Ensure you consume quick digesting carbohydrates directly after your workout, keeping portion control in mind.
Example foods include: - green apples
- pasta or rice
- protein bars
- fresh juice
Post-workout meals that combine both protein and carb can increase synthesis of glycogen and is the best combination to ignite the recovery process.
Example foods include: - chicken with sweet potato
- tuna with rice
- high protein yoghurt with muesli
- peanut butter on whole grain toast
- salmon and mashed potato
To build muscle more effectively, add primarily low-fat protein sources into your diet to speed up the process of digestion. Example foods include:
- protein powder
- low fat yoghurt