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Recovery Foods After Your Workout

One key to maximizing the benefits of a hard workout is replenishing your system with the optimum recovery foods. Even if you don't feel hungry immediately after exercise, your body needs the resources to restore itself and build new muscle. During exercise, you deplete glycogen and raise cortisol, putting your body into a catabolic state that is the first step towards building stronger muscles. To take the next step, fuel your body with a smart snack.

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To get the full payoff from your workout, it is essential to take in the nutrients you need within the most right timeframe. The body is most receptive to recovery foods within the first half hour after a strenuous workout, so select quickly digestible carbohydrates. It is recommended that you eat or drink the proper recovery foods soon after cooling down. In order to make sure you remember to carb-load post workout, plan ahead and have appealing recovery foods ready to go before you start exercising.

Chocolate milk, yogurt, fruit smoothes are all excellent, appealing and good tasting recovery foods that are sources of valuable carbs and proteins. A rule of thumb is to consume three quarters of a gram of carbohydrate per body pound of weight. Experts believe that adding protein to this starchy base will optimize your system's ability to repair muscle. The best recovery foods offer quality carbs without unnecessary fillers and sweeteners. Good choices include a thick peanut butter sandwich, or a bowl of cereal.

Remember, you are not looking to consume a lot of fat or overdo on sugar. In fact, eating fat after a workout will actually slow down your body’s absorption of the nutrients you need. What you choose to put in your body is as important as what you do with your body to improve your strength and endurance. A lot of athletes, especially if they are working out outdoors, carry portable, efficient snacks. Sport drinks and bars, nuts and sandwiches are all good options if you are exercising on the go.

Arming yourself with recovery foods is essential to reaping the benefits of your strenuous efforts to maximize your athletic performance and your overall health. To avoid being caught without healthy carbohydrates, plan your recovery foods ahead of time, and always pack a snack just in case you go for an impromptu job. Preparing delicious recovery foods and rewarding yourself with healthy, restorative food after a tough workout is good for your body and your spirit!

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