Optimise your post-workout nutrition for better recovery with these expert-approved tips

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Optimise your post-workout nutrition for better recovery with these expert-approved tips
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Regular workouts are crucial to your health and fitness but it doesn’t end at that. What you do and, most importantly, eat after a strenuous session is equally important. “(Only) working out does not make you stronger. You grow stronger after a workout, so the hours you spend outside of the gym are just as vital as the ones you spend inside,” nutritionist Bhakti Kapoor wrote on Instagram.

One of the biggest urges after a long and intensive workout is to gobble something fulfilling and delicious. “That’s your body screaming at you to tell you it needs to be refuelled and rebuilt after what you’ve just put it through,” the expert noted, adding that what you eat “can have a huge impact on how fast and how well you recover”.

To optimise your post-workout diet for better recovery, Kapoor suggested the following tips:

Nutrients

According to the expert, you need proteins and carbs after a workout. “Protein is essential for muscle tissue repair and growth, and carbohydrate is important for energy replenishment,” she said.

Hydration

We end up losing a lot of water in the form of sweat while exercising. “Sweat losses need to be replaced. Water is generally the best option but if exercising in heat or with sessions >60m, you may want to consider adding electrolytes,” the nutritionist said, explaining that to know how much you should drink, you can weigh yourself before and after exercise.

“The change in weight is how much fluid you need. For example, if you are 500g lighter, drink 500 ml. Otherwise, just sip water throughout your session.”

Water is generally the best option but if exercising in heat or with sessions >60m, you may want to consider adding electrolytes (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Timing

When you eat is as important as what you eat. Kapoor explained, “The body is the most effective at replacing nutrient losses in the 90-minute window post-exercise but recovery continues for 12-24 hours.”

She added that if you are not planning on eating a meal for 90+ minutes, then aim to add a protein and carb-rich snack to your day. “Total protein and carb intake in the 24-hour window is more important than getting in a quick protein shake. So, be conscious of the rest of your meals,” Kapoor concluded.

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