Refuel, rehydrate and rebuild after a workout

Three post-workout tips that can help you recover quickly.

Health experts state that replacement of vital nutrients are needed after intense workouts. Their recommendations are 30 minutes after exercising you need to refuel your muscles by eating foods high in healthy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an important group of foods for fueling your muscles. That's because carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in muscle to power your workouts. Michigan State University Extension offers examples of healthy carbohydrates foods which are good for refueling muscles: Whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, crackers, pasta, low-fat meats, poultry, low-fat cheese, fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat milk and yogurt.

Replace fluids during exercise to promote adequate hydration. Drinking water is the best way to rehydrate and cool your body from the inside out. Rehydrate after exercise by drinking enough fluid to replace fluid losses during exercise. Sport experts suggest that re-hydration is very important to restore your electrolyte balance which is lost (sweat loss) during intense workouts and competition.

Health experts recommend:
  • One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
  • 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
  • During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes

In order to repair damaged muscle tissue which can happen and contribute to muscle soreness it is important to eat foods high in protein. Many foods contain protein,” but high-quality protein comes from beef, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, soy and soy products, beans, nuts and nut butters, and more”. Foods high in protein are:

Protein amounts in foods:
  • 1 large egg = 6 grams
  • 1 cup low-fat milk = 8 grams
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt = 12 grams
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese = 14 grams
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter = 8 grams
  • 1 cup quinoa = 8 grams
  • 3 ounces of lean ground beef = 22 grams
  • 3 ounces skinless, baked chicken = 26 grams
  • 3 ounces grilled salmon = 21 grams

Sport nutritionist’s caution people about taking protein supplements, “overall, this isn't necessary and even might be dangerous." Using protein supplements can lead to excessive protein intake, taxing the kidneys and promoting dehydration. Plus, the risk for contamination with steroids or hormones is real, as the regulation of dietary supplements is largely left to manufacturers.

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