Recovery from a workout is just as important as the workout itself. Post-exercise foods and drinks can affect recovery in the following areas: fatigue, repletion of glycogen stores, muscle repair, and preparation for future exercise.
For the vigorous exerciser who works out several times a day, is training, or performing competitively, replenishing glycogen stores and assisting the body in recovery is extremely important and not found in the fast food drive-thru on your way home.
Here are a few key tips for proper recovery post-workout:
- Repletion of fluid loss is the most essential part of recovery after a hard workout.
- Eat protein post-workout to aid in repair of damaged muscle tissue, reduce the response from the stress hormone cortisol, and to stimulate development of new tissue. Choose quality proteins like your lean meats, eggs, milk, cottage cheese, and beans.
- Repletion of sodium, potassium, and electrolytes lost through sweat can come from the following foods: potatoes, yogurt, orange juice, bananas, soup, cereals, cheese, and breads.