7 Tips On How To Build Your Self-Confidence In Your Workouts Part 6 of 8: Post Workout Refueling To Lose Weight

Eat this after your workout for strength building. Drink that after your workout for proper rehydration. Don’t eat anything because that will help you lose weight after burning all those calories. There has been so much advice filtrating through the health advice pipelines that it can get confusing to know what is true or not. Frankly, it can get overwhelming and can make even a pro in the game of health’s head spin!

But, let’s be real- you just want results and, and the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what new supplement or smoothie additive is on the market. Just give you results! Right? You bet ya!

To eat or not to eat..

It was one evening years and years (and years and years) ago when I was a junior at Penn State University. After classes ended for the day, I high-tailed it over to the gym to get a solid workout in.

The place was packed with the usual faces and there were two twin girls there that I had seen often. As I was finishing up with stretches and dreaming of dinner not too far in the future, I overheard these two girls talking to each other about their dinner plans. The first girl asked the other “Are you going to eat after this?” The second girl said, “I don’t know, but I am hungry.” The first girl responded with, “I feel skinny, so I don’t think I am going to eat.” Even at the ripe age of 21, I couldn’t understand this philosophy! My intuition told me it was counterproductive  and, as I got older and wiser, I realized I was right. These girls were setting themselves up for fat gain, sore muscles, slowed metabolism, decreased strength and flexibility results, lose of vitals nutrients, mood swings, and a major case of the “hangrys.”

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First and foremost, refueling after workouts are key to help the growth and recovery process from your workouts. You need food immediately to help maintain all the hard work you put in and to offset all the damage you placed onto your body. You also are refueling the body with nutrients to keep your metabolism humming for the rest of the day.

It isn’t should you eat- it is what and when should you eat. Just like during any “fight or flight” situation, increased intensity in physical output is going to put your digestion on the back burner. What does that mean in regards to food? That means that your post workout meal should be easy to digest and easy for your body to absorb.

I actually would recommend two meals following a work out. One that is immediate and the other that is about one hour later. Let’s break them down…

I need food, like, immediately…

Ideally,  your first post workout meal should be 0 to 45 minutes following the conclusion of the activity. As soon as you’re done stretching or crossing that finish line, you should be thinking about how you’re going to take in your first meal. The meal should consist of something that is super easy and quick to digest and, preferably, a liquid form.

Even though I say that a liquid form is best, that doesn’t mean it is written in stone. A small protein bar or an easy digestible fruit is perfectly fine for most people. You just don’t want to have a heavy meal that consists of high fiber or high fat foods and will weigh you down. You want nutrients that will digest easily and be absorbed quickly.

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Aim for a meal that is a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins. A healthy fat should be trace to minimal. Some people go crazy with the protein and think that that is what should make up the bulk of the post workout meal. I have seen gym-goers go for the double or triple scoop of protein powder, which could be anywhere from 40 to 60 g of protein. Your body can only absorb approximately 25 g of protein at a time, so for best strength building practices, you want to spread your protein throughout the day and not try to fit it all into your post workout meal.

The carbs that you incorporate should be quick digesting carbs that are simple sugars. This would be carbs such as fruit, honey, and organic yogurt (milk, almond, coconut).

So what does that look like? You could try a smoothie where you have a protein powder that is approximately 20 to 25 g of protein. Blend in one banana and one mango, 8 ounces of coconut water, and 8 to 10 ounces of water ( more or less depending on preference). Add ice cubes for desired consistency.

How does each of these ingredients help your results?

Banana

  • Potassium for cramping, loss of muscle functioning, and replenishing the body of this nutrient that is often lost during sweating.
  • Manganese for wound healing and bone development.
  • Carbohydrates for replenishing your glycogen stores and increasing your endurance.
  • Vitamin C for strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments, and keeping your immune system strong under the stress of exercise.

Mango:

  • Carbohydrates for replenishing your glycogen stores and increasing your endurance.
  • Vitamin C for strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments, and keeping your immune system strong under the stress of exercise.
  • Alkalizing of the body, decreasing the free radical affect that the stress of exercise has on the body.
  • Low on the glycemic index (41-60), it is fantastic for replenishing glycogen stores but will not suddenly elevate your sugar levels. This is great for diabetics!

Coconut water:

  • Electrolytes for offsetting the loss of them through sweat during exercise. Improper electrolyte balance can lead to muscle cramping, stiffness and pain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headaches and irritability. Coconut water contains  levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and phosphate.
  • Potassium for cramping, loss of muscle functioning, and replenishing the body of this nutrient that is often lost during sweating.
  • Rehydration to offset muscle cramping, fatigue, and decreased performance.

Protein powder:

  • Replenishing protein for muscle building and stabilizing.
  • Compact nutrients that are easy to get in.
  • Better health seen by decreased muscular soreness after workouts and better immune response to infections.

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How about a second helping?

Eating a second meal about 1 hour after you eat that initial meal is another key to proper post-workout meals. You want results and results come with giving the body what it needs at a specific time. This meal can be more solid foods and include fats and fibers that your first meal skipped out on.

Here you can have complex carbs, such as brown rice or other slow digesting healthy carbs. A chicken stirfry, a salad with grass-fed beef and cashews, and eggs on a sprouted grain bread that is topped with smashed avocado are all-stars in my book!

What can I take for on the go?

My favorite post-workout meals for on the go are protein bars and protein shakes. They are easy and portable and you can easily make them fit the 4:1 ratio. If they are not something you enjoy, you could also try a hard boiled egg, banana, and an apple. Or, maybe a banana (or other fruit) in some organic Greek yogurt.

I still am not convinced…

Not eating after your workout is setting yourself up for less than desirable results. It sets you up for cravings and over-eating later on in the day. When you do not replenish your body properly, your body will crave those nutrients later on and, sometimes in forms that do not make you happy (i.e., brownies, cookies, and salty chips).

It is also key to remember that you are eating to not just replenish from the workout you just had, but also to enhance your next workout. If you move through your day sluggish and depleted of vital nutrients, you are already entering your next workout or activity with less in your tank.

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Action Step:

Take action now! Pick three different meals that you can eat for your first and second post-workout meal. Prepare it ahead of time and have it ready for when you have your next workout. Pick something tasty and don’t be afraid of experimenting! You may find a new favorite meal or food that you never knew you liked. Now, share my “Shout And Share” with all your friends to help get them set up for success in their new habit!

Go to the comment section. Make a comment and let me know what you have struggled with, what you have tried, and what your action plan is. The best discussions start between like-minded friends! Share this with your friends and get more people in on the action.

Do you want to learn more? This was a just a snippet into how you can apply this to your own life. If you are craving more and need to make a change in your life right now (or even if you are scared and don’t know what to do), I am here to guide you in the right direction. Contact me at tansynr@tansyrodgers.com to learn more about what you can do to get you from where you are now to where you always dreamed you wanted to be!

Did you like what you read? If so, then get yourself over to http://www.tansyrodgers.com and sign up to be part of my beU complete tribe. That’s how you receive my newsletters to your inbox and get to hear first hand about deals, news, and exciting new events that I only share with my tribe!

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