How to Eat After Exercise
You’ve lunged, squatted and sweated out toxins and now you are STARVING. So what’s the best food to re-fuel? The answer will depend on a number of factors. For instance, are you a slow or fast burner? In other words, does your body easily assimilate carbs, or do they leave you feeling sluggish and quickly show up on your waistline? The kind of exercise you’re doing also matters. Spin, HIIT and running will increase your need for protein while a smoothie or summer porridge might be the perfect breakfast for yoga, Pilates and barre lovers.
Whichever physical activity you enjoy, these key nutrients will help replenish your energy stores.
This alkaline mineral is easily lost via sweating. It is required for hundreds of metabolic actions throughout the body and plays a key role in muscle and nerve control. So if you’re prone to aches or stiffness, this nutrient is essential. Magnesium - rich foods include dark leafy greens – kale, spinach, parsley – as well as cacao, which are all great smoothie additions. You can also treat yourself to a relaxing magnesium bath by adding a cup of Magnesium Flakes into a steaming tub.
After intense training your body naturally enters a catabolic (muscle breakdown) phase. To aid recovery, eat protein five to fifteen minutes after working out. To find out how much you need, read our previous article ‘Plant Based Protein For Exercise’. Good sources include eggs, nut butter, hemp, chia seeds and spirulina. Try Natasha’s Chia and Teff bread with poached egg or nut butter (p.168 of Honestly Healthy Cleanse) and have a plant-based protein shake to hand for after your session - we love Pulsin' Pea Protein.
Carbs are needed to replenish glycogen, which is depleted after heavy training. If you have returned from a yoga class and don’t feel desperately hungry, then a smoothie or juice with an apple (14 grams carbs) and plenty of greens might be enough to last until a mid morning snack. But if you’ve trained like a Trojan, go for something more sustaining like oats. Try Natasha’s Energy Boosting Porridge.
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