Eating is an Important Part of Exercise
One of the most important things to do as part of your exercise routine is to eat as soon as you can after your training session is over. There is a window of opportunity that lasts between 20 minutes to an hour, depending which study you rely on, during which your body can reap the most benefit from fueling.
The ideal post exercise food or drink will include both carbs and proteins. The carbs are important in order to replenish muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen is the fuel that is immediately available to muscles during exercise. Once it gets depleted, you bonk out.
Protein is important to repair and build the muscles. Each time we exercise (cardio or strength), we are actually tearing down our muscles. The growth happens during recovery. To aid in this growth, protein is required.
The ideal ratio between carbs and protein in your recovery fuel is anywhere from 4 grams carbs per 1 gram protein (4:1), down to 2:1, again depending who you ask and what sport you are engaged in. You don’t need to eat too much right after your exercise.
For example, for less than 200 calories, a glass of skim milk and a banana will give you 36 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein (4:1 ratio). Swap the milk for plain Greek yogurt and you’ll be looking at 250 calories with 36 grams of carbs to 20 grams of protein (about 2:1 ratio).
What’s your post workout fueling plan?