The essential thing in the practice of a sport is not only the duration of the exercises, but above all the way of eating after the session. Indeed, eating after physical activity is a very important recovery step so as not to ruin the efforts made and to regain energy.
After a long-lasting sports session during which a significant effort has been made, it is essential to optimize anabolism or protein development in the various tissues of the body, including the muscles. Indeed, amino acids from proteins were used during physical training, which leads to microlesions on muscle tissues. A sports diet should therefore include protein-rich foods that promote muscle reconstruction. However, it is important to find the amount of protein needed by the body to avoid catabolism or destruction of existing proteins. Depending on the intensity of the exercises and the duration of the effort, 10 to 30g of protein may be sufficient.
Diet after a workout should also include carbohydrates. These micronutrients are essential for the resynthesis of glycogen reserves. If glucose participates in the resynthesis of muscle glycogen, fructose optimizes the resynthesis of hepatic glycogen. In addition to dairy product to replenish calcium reserves, the meal or snack after exercise should be made up of starchy foods such as wholegrain pasta or wholegrain rice. It is very important to focus on consuming complex carbohydrates that stimulate insulin secretion. The latter optimizes the anabolic response, i.e. it helps to build, support and repair muscles after physical effort.
Just at the end of physical exercises, it is essential to have a small snack to avoid the feeling of fatigue, often occurring after a workout. Choose solid foods that optimize the body’s reconstruction, including protein-rich fruits such as hazelnuts and almonds or dried fruits such as grapes and prunes. The latter are rich in potassium and help to limit the appearance of cramps. Cereals such as flakes and quinoa are also recommended as they are very high in protein and allow you to regain your strength quickly. In addition, vegetable juices are a very good snack after exercise, such as soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut juice, etc.
The idea that you should fast after a sports session to lose weight is totally wrong. Even if you have to be in caloric deficit during a slimming program, it is important to provide the body with sufficient nutrients and calories to maintain muscle tone. After an exercise, don’t hesitate to take a snack rich in protein and fibrewhich supports muscle development while promoting a feeling of fullness.
It is important to note that snacks should be taken as soon as possible after the sports session. Ideally, consumption should be done within 30 minutes of training to promote the resynthesis of the essential nutrients mentioned above. In addition, the “metabolic window” remains open only 30 minutes after physical efforts. This is why many athletes take recovery bars after training or competition.
After a sports session, the first element to bring to the body must be water. Indeed, water fills in water losses through sweating and urination and then restores normal blood circulation. To stabilize the body’s pH, it is ideal to drink water rich in bicarbonate. If you sweat profusely during exercise, use mineral-rich bottles of natural sparkling water. For those who don’t like the taste of water, vegetable broths can be used to help hydrate the body while replenishing mineral stocks.
However, coffee, tea, soda or alcoholic beverages should be avoided as they prevent the recovery phase after exercise and do not provide sufficient hydration. If you do not have digestive problems, you can also drink milk that works effectively against lactic acids that cause muscle aches and pains.