What Is Post-Workout?Before you engage in exercise oftentimes you may take a pre-workout supplement, snack, or meal to help you stay energized and keep up your endurance during your routine. Post-workout on the other hand refers to what you do after a tough and strenuous workout in order to supply your body with everything it needs in order to repair, recover, and replenish your muscles. Think of it as you setting yourself up for maximum success towards your workout goals by providing your body with the right vitamins and nutrients to aid in muscle recovery, and speed up muscle synthesis.
CarbohydratesYour body uses its own glycogen stores as fuel when you exercise, and consuming healthy carbohydrates after your workout helps replenish the lost glycogen. The type of activity helps determine the rate at which your glycogen stores are consumed, so it's also important to keep this in mind. For example, endurance sports deplete more glycogen than strength training. Examples of healthy carbs:
- Whole grains
- Legumes *considered protein and carb so win-win
- Vegetables, especially tubers like yams or potatoes
- Fresh or dried fruits
ProteinWhen you workout, the proteins that make up your muscle tissues become damaged. This damaged muscle tissue can contribute to muscle soreness. Consuming some protein post-workout can help repair and rebuild this damaged muscle. For this reason, consuming protein post-work should be a key component of your routine. Examples of healthy protein sources:
- Soy products such as tempeh, tofu, and soy milk
- Nuts & seeds
- Post-Workout Energy Ball
- Vegan Chicken Tacos
- Bucatini With Lentil Bolognese
- Godzilla Burger
- Wholesome Lentil and Vegetable Soup
HydrationWhen you sweat, your body loses fluid. Rehydration is fundamental in your post-recovery regime because if your body doesn't have enough water, it can't work properly. Sweat is made up of water, and electrolytes, so depending on how intensely you got your sweat on, replacing some electrolytes is key. Foods such as watermelon, oranges, olives, bananas, sweet potato, or beans can help restore these lost electrolytes. *Tip: It's important to avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks during this time which can cause further dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration can be nausea, dizziness, and muscle cramps.
It's good to do some stretching after your workout while your muscles are still warm. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, which in turn can help them recover faster. It's a great tool to reduce muscle soreness and relieve any tension in your body caused by your workout. A good rest is also vital.
It's important to follow a healthy post-exercise routine, to reduce recovery time and get you back out there. By following these simple steps, you should be step up for success!