We all know how important nutrition is to our health, right? But do you know how essential it is to your workouts? Making sure your body is getting the proper fuel before and after exercise will keep your results going in the right direction. Today, we will focus on post-exercise fuel: why it’s important, when to have it, and in what forms.

Let’s start with the most important point:

If you are not eating within 30 minutes following your workout you are wasting half of the energy you put in. The longer you wait, the more time is wasted.

Before you start with the excuses, please read on.

A lot of time and effort goes into your workout. You’ve worked your muscles hard and gotten your heart-rate up. While that is a lot of work for you, the real work comes afterwards. Once the exercise is complete, your body is working overtime to make sure every muscle you just used is being repaired and ready for the next session. While in repair your body needs help (aka, food).

A great post-workout treat will consist of protein and carbs, while having very little (or none if possible) fat. Here’s why:

Carbs can be very scary for some people, but trust me, this is the time to eat them! After exercise, your body needs a decent amount of carbs to promote a substantial insulin release. Insulin is the hormone responsible for bringing amino acids and carbs to your muscles (much needed at this time).

Protein is essential for your muscle tissue repair. While pumping iron, we are actually tearing muscle tissue, promoting growth. This is a good thing, but it’s important for our bodies to properly recover to prevent injury.

Fats should be kept to a minimum immediately after your workout because they can slow this whole process down. We don’t want that, right?

Okay, so what should you eat?

Personally, I stick to liquid foods at this point. Because it is so important to have your post-workout food immediately after exercise, I’ve found a shake is the easiest way to go. It’s a perfect for on-the-go, can be prepared ahead of time, and it packs a punch in a small amount of time.

My go-to shake:
• 1-2 scoops of protein powder (I personally stick to Herbalife Nutrition)
• banana
• berries
• water
• ice
*I know you all like your almond milk and butters, but save those for a morning shake*

So next time you see that guy walking out of the locker room, protein shake in hand, leaving the gym. You can no longer make fun of him.
He knows what’s up!

January 9, 2016