What should you eat after exercising?

A good recuperation after exercising is essential, because ironically your body does not become stronger and fitter during the exercise but afterwards. Applying the motto “you are only as good as your last recovery”, it is essential to pay sufficient attention to what you eat and drink after exercise. This determines how much you will benefit from your training. Often you will have a car or bus journey to complete after training, or you need to rush to your next appointment, meaning that you cannot immediately give your body the building blocks that it needs for recovery. What you should be doing is fuelling your body with the correct type of food as soon as possible. The 4 steps to recovery are listed below:

 

  1. Compensate fluids: You need to replenish the fluids lost during exercise as soon as possible after exercising. A very good way of determining how much fluid you need is to use a scale, which you can try on a training day. Weigh yourself before and after exercising and multiply the difference by 1.5. The result that you get is the amount of fluid that you need to replenish to compensate for sweat loss.
  2. Replenish carbohydrates:Carbohydrates ensure that your muscles are able to recover after training and provide the fuel that you need for your next exercise session. In the 2 hours after training, carbohydrates are absorbed and converted to glycogen (carbohydrate reserves) one and a half times quicker.
  3. Add proteins: Compared to all the other tissues in our body, muscle contains the most protein (22%). Muscle damage often occurs during training and this needs to be repaired to ensure muscle growth. Proteins are the building blocks in this process and are important in your muscle recovery after exercise.
  4. Be sure to take antioxidants:Your muscles can feel heavy after training very hard. One of the factors responsible for this is that more free radicals have been released in your body, which were produced during exercise. These free radicals can damage the cell membrane of the muscles and can make your muscles feel heavy. Antioxidants are found in fruit, vegetables and pulses.

 

The Etixx Recovery shake contains these 4 components and is therefore the perfect meal after exercise. Alternatives that are available soon after exercise often do not contain all these components, resulting in sub-optimum recovery after exercise. As a result, you may start your next training in a fatigued state, which results in a downward spiral. This can result in slow progress or even injuries. A great comparison of several food products often consumed by athletes after exercising is provided below: