why do you have to eat after a workout

Your body, after using up its available energy, needs to be refueled. Specifically with carbs and
вfor energy and to repair the microdamage that exercise does to your muscles. We re all busy, though. And sometimes, fitting in a workout means squeezing it into a quick 30-minute window and then rushing off to the next obligation. If you don t have a protein bar or other , getting those nutrients in may not actually happen. But if skipping a becomes a habit, you risk sabotaging your fitness goals. Some people will just feel fatigue, and some people can get disoriented from low blood sugar, , sports medicine specialist and pediatric orthopedist at UCLA, tells SELF. She also notes that ignoring post-workout steps that are essential for recovery, like proper nutrition, can contribute to. We think a lot of overuse injuries happen when people are not replacing essential building blocks as readily as they should, Beck says. This can especially become a problem if you re doing heavy and neglecting what your body needs to repair microtears and damage. Fixing those tears is how your body builds muscle; failing to do so puts your muscles at risk of further damage next time you work out. , minerals our bodies need to keep the muscles and nerves firing correctly. If you had a very sweaty workout, replacing , , and potassium, all part of standard food consumption, is also very important, says Beck.


If you tend to get super sweaty, or you re working out on a hot day or going for a , you ll lose some of these things in your sweat. If you re not able to immediately replace them, it can be devastating and damaging. and hypoglycemia ( ) can both set in quickly and make you feel disoriented or even pass out. In rare cases, lack of electrolytes can throw off the electrical impulses that keep the heart beating properly, leading to cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. If you re going to remember one thing, though, make it. Water is the most important building block you need after a workout, Beck says. And during, for that matter. In the end, the one thing you really don t want to skip is rehydrating to replace any water you lost through sweating. Skipping a post-workout meal every once in a while isn t a huge deal, but it should never become a habit. You want to set yourself up for good patterns, Beck says, because developing healthy habits is the easiest way to prevent burnout and injury. Exercise should be fun and , not end in muscle tears or stress fractures. Both hydration and nutrition are important parts of having. This section discusses how each macronutrient в, and в is involved in your body s post-workout recovery process. As explained above, exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein (, ).


The rate at which this happens depends on the exercise and your level of training, but even well-trained athletes experience muscle protein breakdown (, ). Consuming an after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives you the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue (, ). It s recommended that you consume 0. 14в0. 23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0. 3в0. 5 grams/kg) very soon after a workout ( ). Studies have shown that ingesting 20в40 grams of protein seems to maximize the body s ability to recover after exercise (, ). Your body s glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming after your workout helps replenish them. The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depends on the activity. For example, endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen than resistance training. For this reason, if you participate in endurance sports (running, swimming, etc. ), you might need to consume more carbs than a bodybuilder. Consuming 0. 5в0. 7 grams of carbs per pound (1. 1в1. 5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes after training results in proper glycogen resynthesis ( ). Furthermore, insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis, is better stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed at the same time (, ).


Therefore, consuming both carbs and protein after exercise can maximize protein and glycogen synthesis (, ). Try consuming the two in a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein). For example, 40 grams of protein and 120 grams of carbs (, ). Eating plenty of carbs to rebuild glycogen stores is most important for people who exercise often, such as twice in the same day. If you have 1 or 2 days to rest between workouts then this becomes less important. Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients. While fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits. For example, a study showed that whole milk was more effective at promoting muscle growth after a workout than skim milk ( ). Moreover, another study showed that even when ingesting a high-fat meal (45% energy from fat) after working out, muscle glycogen synthesis was not affected ( ). It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but having some fat in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery. Bottom Line: A post-workout meal with both protein and carbs will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) is a practical way to achieve this.

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