How to Refuel and Recover After a Workout
Post-workout nutrition is just as important as pre. It aids in recovery, can help you to build your strength, and replenish any energy stores used. There are key nutrients that you should focus on, as well as timing of these foods, to maximize your refueling and recovery after a workout!
Why is post workout nutrition important?
Consuming the right nutrients after a workout benefits us in numerous ways. During a workout, we’ve used many of our energy stores. You can think of our body as a gas tank and after a workout, we’re usually running on empty. Post-workout nutrition focuses on replenishing these stores so that we’re ready to seize the day and take on everyday functions of life. Adequately fueling after a workout can also aid in recovery, therefore making you less sore. Lastly, eating properly can help to make us stronger. When we engage in physical activity, we utilize muscles. Refueling with the right nutrients helps us to increase muscle synthesis and repair muscle fibers. This increases our lean body mass percentage, something that a lot of individuals strive for!
Foods to focus on
It comes down to two nutrients – protein and carbs, when fueling after a workout. Protein helps to rebuild the muscle fibers that we’ve used and also aids in muscle recovery. Carbs replenish our energy stores and also assists with recovery. Together, these two macronutrients provide the best duo possible for reaching your long-term health, nutrition, and fitness goals.
Pure Plates provides these nutrients in their meals and snacks to give you the fuel you need after physical activity. If you’re going to be ready for a meal after a workout, some of our favorite Pure Plate options include:
Sometimes a full meal isn’t realistic after a workout based on your schedule or time of day. A high-protein and carb-containing snack is still recommended to refuel and recover. Pure Plates also has snack options that can assist with this. Some of our favorites include:
Regardless of your selection with Pure Plates, you can be assured that you will be adequately nourished and on track with your health goals.
Timing of fuel
While Pure Plates takes care of the food component, the timing that you eat your food is up to you (and don’t forget, Pure Plates literally has the food all ready for you!). No matter what type of physical activity that you do, getting in proper nutrition within 2 hours of completion is crucial for your success. Research shows that this is optimal for recovery, muscle building, and refueling.
Hydration also matters
Hydration is another key component of post-workout fuel. Drinking water helps to prevent dehydration, as we lose a lot of water through sweat when we workout. Therefore, it’s best to replenish that fluid loss immediately after. Water consumption can also aid in recovery and decrease post-workout cramping. Lastly, water aids in recovery as it acts as a lubricant for our entire body and therefore helps us to perform our everyday functions after a workout.
Aim to consume at least 1 glass of water (8 fl oz) within an hour of working out to replenish the water that you lost via sweat.
Choosing the proper nutrients and timing your intake has a significant effect on your long-term health and fitness goals. Consuming carbs and protein within 2 hours after working out, plus a glass of water within an hour, can help to increase muscle mass, reduce recovery time, and improve our fitness capacity. Pure Plates takes the prepping of food off of your plate so you can feel confident that you’re nourishing your body with the appropriate foods. In doing so, you’ll ultimately be on track to reach your best health.