Post Workout Nutrition To Enhance Recovery
The body needs time as, well as key nutrients to recover from each workout session. Post exercise nutrition can help repair muscle damage and speed up the recovery process. The most important nutrient to replace is water. Intense workouts in hot, humid conditions can cause large amounts of fluid loss.
In addition to replacing water lost during exercise, electrolytes [sodium and potassium] lost through sweat need to be replenished. A pound of sweat contains approximately 400 - 700 mg of sodium and 80 - 100 mg of potassium. Therefore, post exercise rehydration should include sources of both sodium and potassium. Sodium is found in salty foods including spaghetti sauce, pretzels, crackers, and soup. Potassium is readily found in fruits and vegetables including potatoes, bananas and orange juice.
Depending on goals, carbohydrate intake is very important after exercise, especially when trying to gain muscle. When individuals eat a high carbohydrate diet, to grow mass, recovery time after exercise is shorter and more complete. It is recommended to consume 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight within two hours after exercise. [Example: 200lb person x 0.5 grams/lbs = 100 grams].
Protein intake in the post exercise meal will also aid in recovery. Protein intake is particularly important in exercise which relates in muscle damage such as strength training and endurance exercise.
Fat should be kept out of the post workout meal as much as possible because it slows the absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.