After a great workout, there’s nothing better than refueling afterwards. But what are the best foods to help you recover from your latest Curves workout?
Recovery is a fundamental part of fitness, and a huge part of this is what you use to refuel your body after each session. Poor recovery can reduce your capacity to maintain high-volume workouts and contribute to fatigue, illness and even injury.
The main reason for this is when you’re training, you’re actually breaking down muscle proteins – and at the same time – you’re reducing your carbohydrate stores alongside your electrolyte levels. Proper nutrition and recovery allows muscles to repair and gets them ready for your next workout. So you need the right kind of food in the right amounts to ensure you’re getting the most out of every session.
Timing is everything
Your body is particularly receptive to nutrients in the 30 minutes after you complete your workout. This is because the enzymes in your muscles that help synthesise glycogen and protein are ‘switched on’ and are highly active within this 30 minute timeframe. So at this point, carbohydrate and protein intake is key, and the amount you consume depends on the intensity of your workouts. Have a simple carbohydrate or protein-based snack to hand or even prepare a shake beforehand and follow this with a balanced meal within the next hour.
So what should be on your shopping list?
Great carbohydrate sources include, rice, pasta, pita bread and quinoa. These are the foods that fuel you fast! Some examples of high-quality protein sources include grilled chicken, turkey, salmon and free-range eggs. Of course, don’t forget about rehydrating. Some slightly chilled water or maybe a drink containing electrolytes can help you replace the ones you lose when you sweat. Check the sugar content first though!
Chocolate milk is a great option immediately post-workout, but make and mix this yourself with milk and 100% cacao powder, so you’re not taking in lots and lots of sugar that’s found in most off- the-shelf varieties. To add a bit of sweetness to this, you can add a banana or if you really want to give your body a treat, add some peanut butter or a handful of almonds to get the extra post-workout boost you need.