You may be a workout junkie or a fitness novice getting your groove. Wherever you are on your exercise journey, it is important to fuel your body to enable it to kick some ass!
Regardless of whether you want to burn fat, build muscle or both, you will need three things to help your muscles recover: good carbohydratess, lean protein and plenty of water!
While carbs may have a bad reputation where weight loss is concerned, this only presents half the story. The truth of the matter is that good carbs have an important role to play to help your body keep in tip-top shape!
Not all carbs are the enemy!
Complex carbohydrates are found in fruits, veggies and grains. These play an important role in helping your body recover post-workout.
Exercise lowers blood sugar, and if it lowers too quickly or goes too low, you could become hypoglycemic. That’s where complex carbs are important as they help your body to refuel and recover from a tough workout.
Complex carbs have three or more sugars in them which help to rebuild glycogen stores that are important for recovery. Complex carbs also take longer to digest and aid in digestion because they often contain fibre.
Some complex carb options include brown rice whole wheat bread or cereal, whole grain pasta, sweet potatoes, fruit, milk and yoghurt.
Avoid simple carbs such as cake and cookies as these only contain one or two types of sugars in them and do not serve the same function as complex carbs.
Protein helps to build muscle and are a vital component of any fitness regime. It is important however to consume lean protein and not fatty meats!
Lean protein options include:
It is also possible to make your own protein shake for a portable and convenient protein source. A homemade shake includes a protein source (powder, milk, yoghurt, kefir), fruit, vegetable, and a healthy fat source (nuts, seeds, avocado).
Water might seem to be a logical necessity but contrary to what you may think, it is not just for the purposes of hydration!
Drinking water does so much more than put liquids back into your body after you sweat. It also replenishes electrolytes, sodium and glucose when you exercise!
In addition, water helps regulate your body temperature so you can cool down after that workout. Not to mention, prevent muscle cramps, removes toxins from your body and transports nutrients to parts of your body that need it most after expending so much energy.