Your post-workout nutrition combined with exercise can help you achieve optimal physical and mental health. What you eat creates your body and fuels your fitness. Because you literally are what you eat - it is essential to consume foods that support recovery, provide long-lasting energy, and promote long-term health.
What happens to your body when you workout?
When you eat complex and simple carbohydrate foods like pasta, whole grains, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit, they are turned into glucose, which is then transformed into energy. The body stores these carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. When you exercise, your body uses the glucose that has been stored in your body in the form of glycogen.
When you exercise, the glucose is used to contract muscles for movement. The body also uses adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, but we only have a small storage of both glucose and ATP. When the body uses these supplies, the body requires oxygen to create additional ATP. While you exercise, more blood is pumped to the muscles that are being used. Tiny tears form in your muscles as you use them, and within the next few days as they heal and recover, they grow bigger and stronger. Any soreness accompanied by working out shows that changes are happening to these muscles, but it should only last a few days. Specific forms of exercises like high-impact training and weightlifting stimulate bone formation and help reduce the calcium loss rate that occurs as we age.
Why is protein important for muscle recovery?
Protein consists of amino acids, which helps repair and rebuild muscle. The protein you eat helps reverse damage, build muscle, and prepare you for ongoing workouts. The scientific way of explaining this phenomenon is called “protein synthesis.” It is recommended to consume 0.2-0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which is around 10-30 grams of protein for most people. Individual needs differ depending on weight, workout duration and intensity. Athletes may need to consume more protein than the average person.
Carbohydrates also play a role in muscle recovery because they help replenish energy stores. TUSOL’s smoothie blends contain a balance of both 20 grams of protein and carbohydrates to support recovery. Ideally, protein should be eaten within 30 minutes after completing a workout because intense activity increases muscle protein breakdown. Although not as effective for recovery, it is still helpful to fuel your body any time after activity.
What type of protein is best after a workout?
Pumpkin seed protein and pea protein have been shown to be effective post-workout recovery foods. Pumpkin seed protein contains anti-inflammatory properties, which is helpful to people who suffer with conditions like swelling or immune disorders. TUSOL’s CALM smoothie contains high-potency curcumin, which also helps reduce inflammation. Pumpkin seed protein provides high amounts of magnesium, zinc, and other minerals that are beneficial to long-term health. Pea protein is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine, which stimulate the body to make more muscle protein.
What foods are best for long term health and muscle rebuilding?
A diet rich in unprocessed whole foods has been shown to improve hearth health, reduce your risk for cancer, improve gut health, aid in weight loss, prevent or reverse diabetes, and prevent some neurodegenerative diseases.
Consuming a whole foods diet rich in complex-carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables is most ideal and should be the foundation of any diet. Cooking at home allows you to know exactly what is going into your food. While eating out can be more convenient, many restaurants use added sugar, salt, and fat to stimulate your taste buds to make you crave or over consume their food. On-the-go snacks are easy and great for post- workout fuel, so be sure to choose brands that have wholesome quality ingredients. Choose a snack that is both hydrating and promoting muscle repair. Drinking water is the best way to rehydrate and balance electrolytes after fluid loss from a workout.
Here is a TUSOL on-the-go recipe idea:
TUSOL ENERGIZE Smoothie Packet1 banana
1-2 cups almond milk
Blend and serve!