Are You Making The Most of Your Post-Workout?

Are You Making The Most of Your Post-Workout?

You’ve had that exhilarating and rejuvenating workout, and are pumping with adrenalin and feeling super awesome about it. But that isn’t where it ends. Recovery is just as important as the actual workout, and there’s no going around it. So do you cool down, do a few stretches, grab a protein bar and call it a day?

No way- Your post workout needs more thought than that!

3 Things you Must Do Post Workout

1) Hydrate

Do you just glug through a gallon of water as soon as you step down from your workout? The more water the better, isn’t it? No, not necessarily. Yes, hydration is extremely important but remember that if you’ve been drinking water through the workout, then your hydration needs will be lesser.

hydrate postworkout

Photo Credit: www.fitnessdada.com

If you have the supplies, a great method could be to weigh yourself before and after your workout. The rule is that for every pound you lose, you drink 24 oz. of fluid. For every half hour that you exercise, you drink 8 ounces of water (especially if you have a tendency to sweat a lot.) Thirst is usually a good indicator too; if you are thirsty, drink up. Mixing in some electrolytes is recommended. Find a good electrolyte replenishing beverage that you like that doesn’t contain too much sugar.

2) Refuel 

The importance of nutrition before, during and after your workout cannot be overemphasized. Though there is no set rule, body type and the kind of workout you do will affect the nutrition you need post-workout. Follow these basic rules for refueling.

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Nutrition guidelines

Photo Credit: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/workout-nutrition-explained

*Ectomorph: a person with a lean and delicate body build.

*Mesomorph: a person with a compact and muscular body build.

*Endomorph: a person with a softer body build and a high proportion of fat tissue.

*BCCA drink: branched-chain amino acid

*P+C drink: protein + carbohydrate drink

First off, why is Post workout nutrition so important? Because it helps you recover, rehydrate and build muscle. The amount of protein, carbs and fat we need post workout:

Protein

Protein post workout helps maintain or increase muscle tissue by preventing protein breakdown and stimulating synthesis. 40-60 grams of protein for men and 20-30 grams for women is ideal after a workout.

Carbs

You DO NOT need an instant insulin fix after a good workout.* Yes, we need to restore liver and muscle glycogen after a workout, so get in good whole food carbohydrates (try to skip the processed versions) and fruits.

*Endurance athletes may need a more rapid intake of insulin.

Fats

A good balanced intake of fat is good post workout. While we aren’t advocating a more than generous slathering of butter, research indicates that unsaturated fats can produce an anti-inflammatory response. This is very beneficial to repair chronic inflammation that can be caused by exhaustive exercise or injury. Thank you, omega 3s!

According to Precise Nutrition, this is a good and balanced post workout nutrition plan:

For Men:

  • 2 palms of protein;
  • 2 fists of vegetables;
  • 2 cupped handfuls of carbs;
  • 2 thumbs of fats;
  • low-calorie beverage like water.

For Women:

  • 1 palm of protein;
  • 1 fist of vegetables;
  • 1 cupped handful of carbs;
  • 1 thumb of fats;
  • low-calorie beverage like water.

And it doesn’t have to be boring either. Here’s a list of Surprisingly Beneficial Post-Workout Junk Foods. We’re not kidding, the health benefits of each are given in the link. Who would have thought?

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3) Exercise

Yes, some more exercise before you settle down. Post workout exercises are imperative to alleviate soreness, relax the muscles, minimize recovery time and improve your range of motion. Here are a list of recommended exercises for post-workout:

1) Light Cardio

About five minutes of walking or any other light cardio helps to cool down and get your heart rate back to normal.

2) Foam Rolling

Also known as SMR techniques SMR (self-myofascial release). Rolling out your muscles helps to improve flexibility, increase circulation, and repair soft tissue.

3) Stretching

It’s vital you stretch right after a workout when your muscles are warm. This will help to improve your flexibility and range of motion.

Post workout exercise, nutrition and hydration is crucial for your health and safety. Never neglect these important pointers. Also important to recovery is adequate rest; get in an adequate amount of sleep if you want to make the best of your workout.

What do you do post workout? Have any helpful tips for making the most of your post workout? Share in the comments below!

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