For some, exercise acts as an appetite suppressant for hours after a workout. For others, a hard workout leaves them hungry enough to eat anything and everything in sight. Whether or not you have an appetite after a hard workout, science suggests you do need to eat something. The recovery process requires fuel to keep you pushing yourself at FitClub day after day.
To get the nutrition you need without the calories you don’t, FitClub has four simple rules to remember when you’ve finished your workout.
- Have a small snack. Unless it’s your normal time to eat lunch or dinner, a small snack is all your body needs to begin repairing muscles and restoring the glycogen stores you just burned working out. Make sure your snack contains both carbohydrates and proteins to fuel your muscles, and be sure to keep that snack small.
- Eat real food. There are a lot of products on the market and in the grocery store that use the word “post workout” or “fuel” but don’t amount to real food. Your ideal post-workout snack is real food, packed with nutrients without being loaded down with sugar or artificial ingredients. Before you pick up any snack in a package, be sure to read the label and know what ingredients you’re putting into your body. You just worked hard to improve your health and burn calories so don’t undo that work with your post-workout snack. Opt for real food like yogurt, a banana, an apple, or chocolate milk to replace the glycogen and energy stores you need to bounce back quickly.
- Eat within an hour of your workout. If you’re one of the people that is actually less hungry after a hard workout, don’t wait to eat until you feel like you’re starving. Waiting to eat until you’re extremely hungry is a recipe for overeating and making unhealthy decisions. Instead, make a commitment to eat within one hour of your workout. If you’re really not hungry enough to eat even a small snack, a glass of cold, refreshing chocolate milk will replace the fuel you’ve burned without weighing you down.
- Know your numbers. Different types of workouts burn different amounts of calories. If your primary goal is to lose weight, it’s crucial that you know how many calories you have burned and how many you are consuming. Calories in and calories out determine whether we reach our weight loss goals.
No matter what your goals are, nutrition and exercise work together to give us the healthy lifestyles we all want. Be sure to make healthy decisions before, during, and after your workouts at FitClub to maximize your results and live the healthiest lifestyle possible for you!
Do you eat after workouts? Do you have questions or tips? Leave a note in the comment section for your fellow FitClub members!