I am asked on a regular basis what sort of food is the best after a big workout. Many of my clients don’t feel like eating after a workout, and others are so hungry they open the fridge door, figure they have burned hundreds of calories and go for whatever is closest.
Here are a few simple guidelines:
Plan to have some healthy snacks or food ready for when you get home. Eating within half an hour is ideal if it has been a high burn exercise like a spin class, and eating up to an hour after other activities is best.
If where you exercise is a distance from home, bring suitable food with you. Yoghurt, fruit, multi grain or whole meal sandwiches, dried fruit, nuts, sports drinks, sports bars. It is also worthwhile having some protein and carbohydrates.
Your body will appreciate smaller snacks rather than a big meal.
It is essential to keep yourself rehydrated so fill up your water bottle, sip during exercise and continue to drink all day.
The effects of not eating well or drinking enough post exercise can cause fatigue into the next day, have you ever woken up and felt exhausted? This may be one reason why.
Don’t forget to eat something prior to exercise as well, even if you are an early morning exerciser and don’t really feel like it. Exercising on an empty stomach can cause low blood sugar and dizziness. Eating before exercise can increase your capacity to also burn fat.
Alcohol will dehydrate you, so if you have exercised and are going out for a drink afterwards, wait an hour and get lots of water into your body beforehand. If you can, always have a glass of water ready for sipping as well.
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