Eating soon after you exercise might seem counterproductive, but it’s actually the best thing to do for your body. Here’s why you should eat after you exercise, and how to do it properly.
Why should you eat after you exercise? Consider what happens to your body when you don’t. When you don’t eat after a workout, you put an unnecessary strain on your body. Exercising takes a lot of energy. It exhausts your muscles. You may feel tired after a workout. Even worse, you may suffer from low blood sugar. This can make you dizzy and disoriented, and that can be dangerous.
Your muscles and your body fluids need to recover after you exercise. The act of exercising creates micro-tears in your muscles. After your muscles are weakened and strained from exercise, you need to eat something to begin repairing that damage. Think about it – if you’re dieting you will likely still build muscle, but your overall muscle size will be smaller. Eat after you work out to build that muscle!
If you’re doing it right, you should be sweating during your workout. You aren’t just losing moisture when you sweat, you’re losing minerals and nutrients. Eating food puts these essentials back into your body. Your body needs to repair and replenish after a workout. This makes eating essential.
What to Eat
Eating after your working doesn’t mean sitting down and having a huge meal. This can actually make you feel even more sluggish and tired. Instead, eat lightly, and eat food that’s rich in both protein and carbohydrates. This will give your body the muscle-repairing, energy-creating nutrition it really needs. If you take vitamins, take them while you’re having your post-workout snack to give your body all the essentials.
Eat a healthy snack within one to two hours of your workout, and you’ll give your body the fuel it needs. Keep the snack size to around 100 to 300 calories depending on your needs to avoid overeating and avoid feeling too full. You want and need your body to be healthy, because that’s why you’re working out in the first place.