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Fueling Your Body After Exercise

Hey fit fam! 

I’ve been sharing fitness plans with you for a little while but what we haven’t gotten into is what you should be eating after you exercise.  It’s too easy to get up after your cool down, take a shower, and then go on to the next activity… OR if you’re like me sometimes you lay on the floor contemplating your life decisions 😅😜

Let’s Talk Facts… 

When we exercise, our bodies break down muscle 👉 Muscles grow when they rest and recover.

So it’s important to capitalize on the anabolic window to optimize our recovery.

This ~30 minute window after exercise or performance that is the ideal time for your body to use carbohydrates (glucose) and protein.

During this time, the muscles can better absorb protein, carbs, and other vitamins and minerals.

The goal is to replenish muscles so that they grow and recover faster 💪

Let’s Talk Food…

Eating carbohydrates immediately after exercise replenishes glycogen storages (what the body uses for energy) two times more than if you consumed them 2+ hours after exercise.

Adding protein with carbs to the post workout meal maximizes the body’s ability to restore glycogen levels, reduce muscle damage, and repair muscles.

🤓 A combination of fast and slow digesting carbs will help to immediately replenish energy needs and aid in prolonged energy.

⭐ Fast-acting carbohydrates (aka simple carbohydrates) are easy to digest and supply the body with energy very quickly. Simple carbs are mostly found in refined grain products, some fruits, and some dairy. You can also find them in high-sugar foods such as candy and soda – but these are not your ideal choice for fast-acting carbohydrates!

Note: Simple carbs can be a good option before a workout if you need a quick boost of energy.

⭐ Slow-digesting carbs – such as yams, wild and brown rice, beans, legumes, vegetables, red potatoes, oat bran, rolled oats, and whole-grain and whole-wheat breads – are loaded with nutrients and fiber. These foods produce relatively slow increases in blood glucose.

🤓 The recommended ratio of carbs to protein varies between experts but is generally 2:1 to 4:1 carbs to protein ratio.

For example, 50 grams of carbs and 25 grams of protein (2:1) or 60 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein (4:1).

Let’s Talk Timing…

Here’s the thing… timing meals around workouts has been used by athletes and bodybuilders for decades.

However, many studies show that most people don’t need to replenish carb or protein stores right away 🤯

📝 If you ate a few hours before a workout, your body will likely be able to use some of that  fuel during the anabolic window. So, eating exactly 30 minutes after your workout may not be so crucial.

📝 However, if you are working out first thing in the morning or are in a fasted state (have not eaten for 3 hours or more), then you will need that anabolic window to replenish your energy stores and repair the muscles.

And finally, follow up with a balanced meal within 4 hours 💁‍♀️

There you have it! It can be a lot to take in at first, but it’s critical you understand the basics so you don’t give up when you don’t see the results you’re looking for. Sometimes a little change in when you eat is what matters. 

Before I go… Here are some ways we can stay connected if you’re unsure how to get started!

Not sure the best way to get started? Click on my resources below:

  • ⭐ Learn my secrets to remaining consistent on your weight loss journey here
  • ⭐ Let’s Kick Toxic Positivity to the Curb Together here
  • ⭐ Get fit in 5 min a day here
  • ⭐ Grab your FREE 4 Week Fitness Plan here

Or click the image below to learn how to get what you really want in life. Start your journey below!

Until next time friends!

~Ash

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Hi I’m Ashley! I help busy women create impact in their lives one step at a time. Please follow me on Instagram @ashley_mars to connect with me! If you’d like to work with me or have any questions, my inbox is always open!