When you perform a sporting activity you consume a lot of energy, calories and water. It can be difficult for your body to recover if energy levels are not replenished after your workout. The ideal is to eat a small snack after your exercise, whether intense or cardio, to restore energy levels in your body.
In this article, Angélique will give you advice on healthy foods to eat after your workout and she will explain to you what benefits each of them brings to your body.
The need to have a snack after sport
During exercise, muscles use glycogen, stored by the body, from glucose ingested when you eat.
Cardio sports, such as running or swimming, consume more glycogen than resistance activities, such as weight training. Another effect of exercise is that muscles develop small tears and energy is needed to rebuild them.
By having a snack after your sports session you will help your body to achieve a good nutritional balance again after exercise. This will restore energy levels and reduce fatigue, which helps the body repair muscles and build strength for future exercises.
Proteins, carbohydrates and good fats
After a workout, it is ideal to eat foods that are easy to digest to speed up the absorption of nutrients. Certain foods should therefore be favored, particularly those that contain carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins.
Here is a small list containing carbohydrates:
- chia seeds
- fruits (berries, apples, bananas, etc.)
- Whole grains
Here is a list of foods containing protein:
- white cheese
- Greek yogurt
- turkey or chicken
- salmon or tuna
- Peanut Butter
Here is a list of foods containing healthy fats:
- coconut oil
- nut butter
What to eat after your workout?
Here are examples of foods and elements that help the body absorb nutrients quickly and speed recovery.
According to scientific research, 9 grams of dairy protein could be enough to stimulate protein synthesis in muscles, which would help recovery after sport.
Here is a list of dairy products rich in protein, ideal to consume after sport:
- Greek yogurt
- white cheese
In fact, a serving of low-fat kefir contains 9.2 g of high-quality protein. These proteins have the ability to repair new cells, especially muscle cells. These proteins also contain all the essential amino acids, which can only be supplied to the body through food.
Studies have proven that milk-based proteins are more effective than soy-based proteins in promoting muscle cell growth after resistance exercise.
These same studies concluded that while milk and soy proteins help a person maintain and build muscle mass, milk proteins were more effective in supporting the rapid growth of lean muscle mass.
Many studies indicate that eating whole eggs after resistance exercise results in greater protein synthesis than eating egg whites with the same protein content.
Researchers concluded that the nutrients in egg yolk helped stimulate muscles more effectively than those in egg white.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Research indicates that the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis and thus build muscle mass in healthy young and middle-aged adults.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, such as salmon. Tuna also contains high levels of fatty acids and proteins. In fact, a portion of tuna packaged in water contains 41.6g of protein and 5.4g of fat.
In addition to helping muscles rebuild quickly after a cardio session, studies also indicate that oil from oily fish can help reduce muscle soreness after resistance training. In fact, consuming fish oil every day for a week, before starting resistance exercise, will reduce post-workout muscle pain.
Carbohydrates must definitely be consumed after exercise; because on the one hand they help to promote the storage of glycogen in the muscles, but also they help to fight against the drops in immunity that can occur after exercise.
Carbohydrates are found in cereals, sweet potatoes, and some fruits can contain them in high levels.
However, one of the foods with the most carbohydrates is quinoa. Gluten-free, it is classified as a pseudo-cereal. It is rich in fiber and protein, one serving provides 8.14g of carbohydrates, making it a superfood! In addition, quinoa has a low glycemic index, which makes it an excellent choice for people with diabetes, for example.
Herbal teas contain nutrients and chemical compounds that help the body effectively process the carbohydrates and proteins ingested as a snack following your sports session. The best infusions to drink after sports are those based on Yerba Mate. Indeed, a study compared athletes who drank herbal teas after sport and those who drank water. The study participants who consumed the herbal tea recovered their strength more quickly in the 24 hours following the sports session. They were able to metabolize more quickly and expend more energy than those who did not drink herbal tea.
It is essential to drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout. In fact, the body loses water and electrolytes by sweating during your workout. This is why drinking water during and after a workout promotes performance and recovery.
The amount of water everyone needs varies depending on the type of exercise, amount of sweat, thirst and other factors but generally speaking it is advisable to consume at least 1.5L of water during the workout. daytime.