Postworkout Nutrition: How do you refuel after working out?

My nutrition interview with Jon continues.  I asked him how he replenishes the nutrients that are consumed after a good workout.

“Listen to your body – Sleep when you are sleepy, Play when you are energized, Eat when you are Hungry – Keep it Simple and Enjoy Life!” – Jon Hinds

Exercising depletes energy and nutrient storage from your muscles.  Protein synthesis (building of muscles) is most active during the first 2-4 hours after post exercise.  It is important to ingest healthy proteins for your muscles to repair and rebuild, as well as essential nutrients to restore and prepare the body for its next work out! Some research shows that efficient recovery is coupled with proper nutrient timing.  However, unless you are training for a triathlon, marathon, or the Olympics you most likely don’t need to worry about protein supplementation.

For more information on muscle growth and post workout nutrition read Body Recomposition

Personally, I enjoy a soy and hemp protein smoothie after I work out – with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, rhubarb, mango, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, ginger and banana (I love fruit and try a new combination whenever possible!) I like the filling effects of a protein smoothie and also how it thickens it up to a perfect consistency (personal preference of course).  Immediately after exercising I will drink 16-20oz of water and then wait until I feel hungry before enjoying a smoothie.

Jon discusses how you should not stress the ‘eat within 30 minutes of a workout’ or first thing in the morning. Your body will let you know what it needs. One of the most important relationships you have is the one with your body, and communication is essential to all relationships!

In case you have not yet fine-tuned the communication from mind to body here are some guidelines:

  • Within an hour or so of a sweat-session restore your glycogen levels with a wholesome snack.
  • A healthy combination of carbohydrates and protein (such as nut butter on toast, veggie-egg scramble, or a smoothie) is good for post-workout.
  • An analogy I once heard – You must have fuel in the tank to make your vehicle go. Thus you will need to eat before and after exercising regardless of your fitness goals.

Did I mention the importance of enjoying your food?

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