Living a ‘fit’ lifestyle can be strenuous on the body but with proper rehab and nutrition goals it can be a lifesaver. Whether you’re working out to lose fat, increase muscle tone or just feel good, hitting the gym is only part of the battle to get the best results. Because while your diet matters throughout the day, know what to eat after your workout might play the biggest role of all.
At F.I.T. Muscle and Joint Clinic we feel it is important for any athlete or weekend warrior to understand how food helps in recovery. You have to understand the main components that food breaks down into or its macronutrients. A macronutrient is a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, including you, which you get from food or drink. The three macros are protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Your body stores glycogen and protein in its muscles. During a workout, your body first burns through the nutrients you ate pre-workout and moves on to the stored glycogen, burning it as energy. Then, after stepping off the treadmill, the protein in your muscles begins to drop and muscle fibers start breaking down.
But for a special time, about 30 to 60 minutes after wrapping up a workout, your body is primed to refuel and replenish itself by absorbing carbs and protein once again. Your body needs protein otherwise it can become catabolic, which means it eats away at itself for fuel.
After a workout, your body tries to rebuild its stores of glycogen and repair and regrow muscles. Knowing what to eat after working out and eating the right foods can help speed along this process and enhance your recovery.
A simple list of great foods for quick recovery include:
- Egg whites
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Whole eggs
- Rice (brown)
- Kidney beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Pasta (whole wheat)
- Fruits (berries, bananas)
- Black beans
If you have questions about improving your recovery time or general questions about nutrition, the practitioners at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic can assess your diet/workout to allow you to optimize workout goals.
We currently have 4 locations and serve Downtown Kansas City and the Kansas City Metro area including North KC, Liberty, Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe, Gardner, Leawood, Prairie Village, Belton, Lees Summit, Blue Springs, and Lawrence. Please contact F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic today. New patients are always welcome!