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Post-workout meal – how to prepare it?

Training involves a lot of effort for the body, as it uses up nutrients and energy. All this needs to be replenished as soon as possible. The proper post-workout meal will help you regain strength and increase muscle mass. It also serves to speed up the recovery process. It is important to remember that exercise contributes to the formation of micro-damage in muscles and tissues. Unfortunately, skipping a post-workout meal is a straight path to many problems. The body will be forced to reach for stored reserves – unfortunately, it will not bypass the muscles either.

What will be the right food after exercise?

A well-balanced diet includes carbohydrates, protein and fats. Depending on what effect you want to achieve, you need to choose the optimal proportion of macronutrients. After exercise, it will be crucial to replenish muscle glycogen stores first. Therefore it is essential to reach for quickly assimilated carbohydrates. Of course, this is not enough because it is necessary to provide an optimal amount of protein to regenerate after exercise and rebuild damaged muscle fibres. You can’t delay eating a post-workout meal because it will harm your muscle mass.

This is especially important for strength trainers who want to increase muscle strength and build muscle mass. It is recommended to eat a wholesome meal one to two hours after training at the most. There is no one perfect menu for everyone. The post-workout meal must always be tailored to the individual needs of a particular person. You need to consider your energy requirements, physique goals, dietary pattern, etc. It will also be essential to keep in mind the time of day. A meal served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner will be different. Some people exercise on an empty stomach, others in the afternoon or even late in the evening. Unfortunately, overeating at night is a simple way to reduce the quality of sleep and impair recovery.

How to prepare a post-workout meal?

When composing a post-workout meal, you should reach for the right source of carbohydrates. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have to be a lot right away. People after endurance training have a higher demand for them. On the other hand, people focus on building muscle mass, and training doesn’t need to replenish sugars quickly. A good solution for this is complex carbohydrates. These include cereal products such as groats, rice, bread and wholemeal pasta, quinoa, and amaranth. Starchy vegetables are also a good choice for a post-workout meal. Potatoes, yams, carrots, beets. Celery root and parsley contain a good amount of carbohydrates. The post-workout menu can also include 100% fruit juices and whole fruits. Bananas, pears, apples and grapes deserve special attention. An excellent way to quickly provide your body with carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals will be to consume fruit and vegetable smoothies after exercise.

What to eat after exercise?

An essential ingredient in a post-workout meal is, of course, protein, which should be wholesome. Therefore, the best choice is meat, fish, eggs, seafood, and pulses. Although it is not recommended to choose fatty pieces of meat, it is better to bet on poultry, beef, veal and rabbit. The fish are excellent salmon, tuna, halibut, trout and cod. If the post-workout meal is to include a plant-based source of protein, then soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas are good choices. However, keep in mind that pulses contain a lot of carbohydrates and fibre. Dairy products are also a good choice, such as cottage cheese.

The amount of fat should not be exaggerated after training, but it should be included in the meal. Many people avoid it, which is a big mistake. Of course, the key will be to choose healthy fats. The most important are fatty acids from the omega-3 group, which have anti-inflammatory effects. They are crucial after an intense workout because they promote regeneration.

This raises the question of the optimal amount of fat in the post-workout meal. It is worth ensuring that they constitute at least 20% of the whole food on the plate. If someone wants to increase the meal’s calorie content, the supply of fat can be easily increased to even 30%. However, its amount should not be exaggerated in the late evening. Products with high-fat content are hard to digest and thus significantly burden the digestive system. You have to reckon with prolonged digestion, which has no beneficial effect on regeneration. Good sources of fat after training are vegetable oils such as olive oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds.

Is it worth using supplements for my post-workout meal?

A quick way to provide your body with carbohydrates and protein is to reach for supplements. You can choose from various post-workout supplements to speed up recovery and prevent catabolism. In addition, the quick replenishment of protein after exercise promotes the building of lean body mass. If you can’t eat a full meal and you want to build muscle mass, it’s worth considering a protein supplement, especially one containing BCAAs. Post-workout carbohydrate supplements are great for replenishing glycogen stores. They are primarily recommended for people training for endurance sports.

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