Why do dietitians and trainers keep emphasizing on recovery nutrition after exercise?
Recovery is critical to replenish the body with the lost nutrient stores and prepare yourself for forthcoming training sessions. The importance of recovery nutrition is dependent on the type and duration of exercise performed, body composition rules and personal choices. Recovery nutrition is extremely important when athletes participate in two or more training sessions in one day or two sessions in limited time duration (for instance, a late-evening session followed by an early-morning session). But, when you train for a couple of days in a week or exercise once a day, recovery nutrition is still important, but you can fulfill nutrient requirements with your usual meals and snacks instead of relying on extra food.
What are the outcomes if my recovery nutrition goes wrong?
Insufficient nutrition recovery, all the more while participating/training multiple times in a day can lead to increased fatigue, decreased performance during the next training session or event, below-than-expected gains from the recently completed session and increased muscle soreness.
What is the time gap required between my exercise session and next meal/snack?
Rehydration should happen immediately after training but carbohydrate and protein refueling depends on how much time gap is available before the next training session. Body responds best when carbs are replaced within 60-90 minutes after exercise. If you don’t replenish within 90 minutes, you can do so using your next regular meal after exercise. Some athletes split the recovery part into two schedules-they take a light snack immediately after exercise followed by their meal to completely recover.
What can I eat after exercise?
Every person needs different foods depending on his/her food preferences, appetite and body composition. In general, the food we eat after exercise must be rich in quality carbs to replenish lost muscle fuel stores, abundant in lean protein to promote muscle repair and contain fluids and electrolytes to rehydrate. There is no 'one' best choice to choose and you can eat dairy foods such as flavored milk, fruit yogurt or smoothies to refuel your carbohydrate, protein, fluid and electrolyte stores.
Which is the healthiest fluid option that I can choose to drink after my exercise?
The best fluid to choose during exercise depends on your goals. If you wish for: