Another important question generally asked is, when is fueling following a workout important? What type of foods do I need to look for when eating post-workout? If you went on an easy walk for an hour, you don’t need to eat extra. But, if you had a high intensity workout lasting 60 to 90 minutes or longer, then it’s crucial to eat afterwards. Within the first 45 minutes post-exercise, there is a “metabolic window.” This means that enzymes that replenish muscle carbohydrates are at their highest levels. Plus, insulin, which rebuilds protein stores, is at peak levels. So eating a carb-and-protein mix at this point will maintain muscle, replenish glycogen stores, and reduce the amount of fat your body stores. Some examples may include: peanut butter sandwich, yogurt with fruit, bagel with cream cheese, or a handful of nuts (almonds/walnuts), apple & reduced fat string cheese. Even an 8 ounce glass of nonfat chocolate milk is a great idea if you don’t have something more complex available. These calories are needed to recover, so they are less likely to be stored as excess fat. The problem is it may be an hour or more before you get a chance to eat, especially if you’re at the gym and need to grab a shower before a long journey home. Missing the metabolic window is bad news: If you delay refueling, you slow carbohydrate replenishment by 50 percent and protein repair by 80 percent, according to John Ivy, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas and the author of Nutrient Timing. And that means that you may be sluggish and fatigued during tomorrow’s workout. Sometimes an immediate side effect of a tough workout is that you are not hungry. But, you still need some calories. So drink ¼ cup juice, 1cup nonfat chocolate milk, or at the very least have a banana. If you experiment with different food options, you should be able to find something that sits well with your stomach and improves your performance.
Fri, July 17, 2009
by Amy Campbell filed under