Posted by Seminal Wellness Team on 8/6/2022 to News
We place so much focus on what we should be doing during a workout—the number of reps, how long a set is, balancing cardio and strength training, etc.—but we should put just as much emphasis on what we do after exercise. Your post-workout routine builds the foundation for quickening recovery and your maximizing your fitness.
First, we want to take a look at post-workout nutrition and what you should be eating to adequately refuel. It's imperative to optimize the carbohydrate-protein ratio post-workout, getting it as close to 2:1 as possible. For intense weight-resistance routines, with the objective of building muscle size, experts suggest consuming 20 to 30 grams of lean protein and 30 to 40 grams of healthy carbohydrates (e.g., whole grain pasta) within 30 minutes, ideally, of the end of your workout. For lighter, aerobics-focused workouts, with the objective of maintaining overall fitness, it's suggested to eat a well-balanced meal, getting as close to the recommended 2:1 carbohydrate-protein ratio as you can. Though the recommended window for post-workout eating is half an hour—some experts even contend eating within an hour, or 60 minutes, after a workout is still within the optimal anabolic window—the most important component is having the right balance of food. Some of the best post-workout foods include quinoa; brown rice; nut butter (almond or cashew, for instance); non-fat yogurt; greens (kale, broccoli sprouts, asparagus, etc.); and lean meats (e.g., chicken or turkey). Vegan proteins including lentils, beans, and tofu have also been shown to expedite recovery, specifically after resistance training. Essentially, eating high-quality proteins and carbohydrates, after exercise, is essential for replenishing you for an even more effective workouts in the future.
Sweat loss during exercise ranges from .5 liters to 2 liters per hour on average. Generally, any weight loss of greater than 2% during routines will substantially decrease performance and any weight loss surpassing 4% can contribute to heat-related ailments, like heat stroke, which could be deadly. To stave these off, it is important to hydrate before workouts at the very least, to promote safety, even during the most intense sets.
It bears mentioning that your traditional protein powder is not essential. You want to opt for healthy foods, including those that are self-prepared, that give you essential nutrients or custom blends that provide the vital vitamins and minerals you need. Some good choices are featured at the bottom of the article.
These are some recommendations for your best post-workout routine:
1) Take a few minutes to cool down
3) Hydrate (drink at least 16 ounces of water or a non-sugar drink)
4) Eat a healthy snack (full of lean protein or unrefined carbohydrates)
5) Consider a supplement (e.g., BCAAs or branch-chained amino acids)
6) Do low-intensity exercises on rest days
7) Always prioritize high-quality proteins and carbohydrates
Following these recommendations can give you the best results, advancing your initial exercise objectives. It's evident that going hard is just as much about what you do when you go home.
Cronkleton, E. (2020). 11 steps to follow for a post-workout routine that gets results. https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/what-to-do-after-working-out
Leal, D. (2021). What to eat after a workout: Post-workout nutrition, timing, and tips. https://www.verywellfit.com/the-best-foods-to-eat-after-a-workout-3121369
Naciero, F., Seijo, M., Earnest, C.P., Puente-Fernández, J., & Larumbe-Zabala, E. (2020). Ingesting a post-workout vegan-protein multi-ingredient expedites recovery after resistance training in trained young males. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 18(6), 698-713. https://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080%2F19390211.2020.1832640
Thanks especially for the tip on post-workout meals. I've been thinking about the best ways to hydrate. What do you recommend?
Seminal Wellness Team
Thanks for the question Kai. Drinking water post-workout, and throughout the day, is key. Infused water--with vitamins, minerals, or electrolytes--even just a few sips, every hour or so, is an excellent addition to your routine. Even fresh produce, with high water content--like tomato, zucchini, sweet pepper, etc.---is a good way to get your water and nutrition. Drinkable veggies and pouches, packed in at least 80% water, is a perfect option for especially hectic days. And, many on the Seminal team swear by insulated water bottles/thermoses, with the built-in straws, that can keep water chilled throughout the day. These are just a few tips, but you have to make sure you're getting water, regularly, throughout the day. Thanks again for the question.