After a serious workout, your body is in recovery mode and it needs fuel to properly fix itself. Water is obviously important, but it’s not the only thing you need in your system if you want it to prosper.

Working out puts some serious wear and tear on your body, with the muscle tearing and physical exhaustion you put it through. Time and nutrition are important for your body to recover. Don’t forget to stretch, that is going to help the muscles grow back together and release the backed up lactic acid that gathers. This is the liter pain you feel in muscles that have been exercised.

Here are the 6 things everyone need to put into their body after a workout.

 

Eat afterwards

You should be putting calories back into your body within an hour of the workout. Whether it be a power bar or an apple, you should eat something. Your body burns a lot of calories during a workout but you need calories for your everyday bodily functions, so replenish. All the stress and wear you put on your joints and muscles is taking the much needed calories, so pump some back in. I’m not saying eat a 3-course meal, but put some back in.

 

Not Just Protein

Protein is the fuel in which your body builds muscle with, but it also needs fat. You should be eating a balanced meal after you workout so you replenish all the nutrients you burned through. A good starch is important for your energy. Eating a full meal will keep your metabolism working for hours after a workout, burning calories too. So eating will actually make you lose weight, crazy right.

 

Real

Eat real food, that’s fruits, veggies and meat. I like to eat a few raw veggies right after I workout and cook some for later. Your body is burning calories 24/7 so it needs fuel when you least think about it.   The better the quality you eat, the less you have to eat. Better food will go much further than say fast food or junk food. Those crap foods are loaded with sugar which burns fast and you need pt eat again soon.. quality foods last you all day and will keep you loaded with fuel for recovery.

 

Don’t overcompensate

It’s easy to eat back what you’ve burned after a workout. There are a lot more calories in a donut than you think and these calories don’t burn easily. Just because you worked out for an hour and burned 2,000 calories, doesn’t mean you should go and eat 2,000 now. That is very counter predictive to your weight loss goal.

 

Hydrate

Water is our lifeblood and after a workout you need to replenish tons of lost water.   You should be drinking a liter per half hour of exercise, minimum. Drink it down and feel better too. You will cramp up if you are dehydrated, so don’t allow that to happen. Also, check the color of your pee, if it’s too yellow or stinky, you need water.

 

No Alcohol

Alcohols terrible for fitness and especially after you workout. Alcohol dehydrates you more and after a workout that’s the last thing you need. Alcohol also stops your body from building muscle so you may be doing damage to your body.

 

Eat clean and drink water after your workout for optimum effects.

 

Photos courtesy of Diets in Review, realm, JPMS