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Post-workout nutrition

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What to Eat After You Work Out

As in the previous post, the better educated you are about health and fitness, the more fat you’ll burn, and the more lean muscle mass you can build. You can get stronger and slimmer—faster.

Eating after you work out accomplishes two things.

1. It restores your body’s glycogen stores.
2. It helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue.

Allow me to explain: Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which your body stores as glycogen. Glycogen is your body’s backup fuel. It’s stored in the liver and muscles. Your body uses the glycogen when you work out, so restoring it afterwards keeps you energetic after you’re done exercising, like when it’s time to deal with the kids and make dinner. Jeesh.

Muscles are made of protein, which is exactly the macronutrient you need after a workout in order to create sculpted arms, abs, booty and legs. Eating protein keeps your body from using its own muscle mass to repair itself.

WHAT to eat?

REAL FOOD. But you knew that already. Specifically carbs and protein, but not necessarily fat, because fat slows down digestion and you want to assimilate the nutrients fast. Fat—the healthy kinds—are great for every other time of the day. More on that soon. Go for carbs like oats, fruit, and sweet potatoes. Proteins like eggs, minimally processed yogurt and meat.

And even though we’re keeping it real, no one said you couldn’t process real food yourself, say in a blender.

Smoothies are filling, delicious and good for you. Recipe ideas are endless – kale smoothies with some Greek yogurt added for protein and my Coco Sunbutter smoothie are my favs.

You might want to consider ingredients like Greek yogurt, almond milk, coconut milk, crushed ice, berries of all colors, bananas, cocoa powder, coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, flax seeds, and the almighty almond butter (if you decide to add a little fat).

WHEN to eat?

Most experts advocate eating within thirty minutes of working out. You can read more about why here.

And anyway, you’re probably going to be hungry after a workout, and for good reason. You just worked your tail off, but if you’re absolutely averse to eating, by all means, listen to your body. It’s wise. Maybe pack one of those delicious smoothies to drink after your workout. It’s easily digested, portable, and satisfying. Hey, I think I’ll go make one now.

Bon Appetit!

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