There are a lot of misconceptions about what and when to eat in relationship to your workouts. Do you eat before? How much? What should you eat afterward to reap the most benefits?
Sometimes, making a special effort to fuel or refuel after your workouts can lead to consuming too many calories and can actually be detrimental to all the hard work you are putting in.
What you specifically need to eat depends on you and your goals, but new research sheds a little light on how post workout meals help or hinder your efforts.
Exercise influences your health in a number of ways, including blood pressure, calorie usage, and insulin sensitivity, and your calorie intake, as well as the types of food you eat, affects fat usage and insulin metabolism for a few days after the workout occurs.
A team of researchers from the University of Michigan found that after exercise, fat use was greater following a low-calorie meal, but insulin sensitivity stayed the same- meaning a steady blood sugar that keeps cravings at bay and a steady supply of energy. The type of food you eat in the meal also made a difference. The researchers found that low carbohydrate meals after exercising increased insulin sensitivity, making carbohydrates an important part of refueling after a workout.
What this tells us is that in order to burn the most fat after your workouts and keep your energy steady, consume a low calorie meal rich in complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, barley and oatmeal.
Don’t forget to keep your over all calories in check. This post workout meal should not be an addition to your daily intake, it should be included in it.
The effects of exercise don’t stop when you leave the gym. Next time you head to the kitchen after your workout, choose your meal based on what will keep your results rolling.
In Good Health,
Kelly Turner is a Seattle area ACE Certified Personal Trainer, health and fitness writer and editor of the fitness website, PhysiqueSpeak.com. To contact Kelly with any questions, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.