Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | May 21, 2014

10 Nutrition and Hydration Tips – #2: Eat After a Workout or Event

You’ve just finished a great workout. What’s the first thing you do? Drink something? That’s good; however, if you are like many exercisers (and some athletes), you don’t eat anything. This is a common mistake. You have a great opportunity to facilitate the recovery process in the first two hours following a workout, event or competition. In fact, in the first 30 minutes after hard exercise, your body is hundreds of times more sensitive to carbohydrates and will store more than at any other point in the day. This is the time to refill the proverbial gas tank (known as post-exercise muscle glycogen resysnthesis). After a workout, the longer you wait to eat, the less likely you are to effectively facilitate the recovery process. Keep these three points in mind when it comes to post-workout nutrition and recovery:

  1. As a general rule of thumb, aim for 1.0 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight (to calculate your weight in kg, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2). You should also include 10 to 20 grams of protein in your post-workout meal.  
  2. Eat moderate to high Glycemic Index carbohydrates. If you are familiar with the Glycemic Index (GI), you know that most of the time, we should eat carbohydrates with a relatively low GI. However, because high GI foods facilitate a quick rise in blood sugar they are very effective at replenishing carbohydrate stores in your muscles and liver. They also provide you with quick energy so they are a good choice during endurance workouts and events. To review the GI rating of various foods, simply type “Glycemic Index” in your web browser and you will receive a host of useful sites.
  3. You do not have to get all of the desired calories in your body at one time. Start immediately upon completion of your workout and eat a light snack every 30 minutes for 2 to 3 hours.

NEXT POST – May 25, 2014

Cycle Log: Competition Phase 2014 – Week 5


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