Post Workout Recovery
Post-workout nutrition affects your ability to recover.
After exercise, the most important aspect of post-workout nutrition is the consumption of protein. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are responsible for the repair and recovery of muscle tissues.
When you’re exercising, you’re actually creating micro tears in your muscles. Your body requires amino acids (protein) to rebuild those muscle fibers so they can grow, get stronger and prevent injury.
If you don’t consume protein and a wide variety of amino acids after exercise, you make yourself susceptible and potentially prone to injury from damaged muscle fibers waiting to be repaired. This can easily happen if you exercise hard, don’t supply your body with adequate nutrition.
Replenish your body not only with protein, but with carbohydrates and essential fats as they all work harmoniously to get the body rested, recovered and ready to workout again in the near future.
Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel source used up during exercise, it becomes extremely important to consume carbohydrates after a workout of any type to replenish fuel stores and other nutrients lost or eliminated during exercise.
Athletes who consume animal products often use whey protein shakes as an easily digestible post-workout drink to enhance muscle recovery and growth. Vegan athletes, however, do not consume whey because it comes from milk, an animal-based food. Vegans still can obtain an optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein with a drink based on fruit juice and plant protein sources.
Traditionally, after I complete a workout, I habitually consume a protein drink within 15 to 45 minutes post activity.
I have made the mistake of waiting too long to refuel properly after a rigorous long run which then resulted in injury.
We call this hour immediately after exercise the “nutritional window of opportunity”.
Nutrition in liquid form is much easier for your body to digest and assimilate than food that has to be chewed, broken down, swallowed and eventually digested or discarded.
Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer is a meal replacement powder, as well as a protein powder. That means it has five sources of protein (hemp, pea, rice, flax, and chlorella). It also has 100% RDA of vitamins and minerals, Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, and antioxidants.
It even has natural ingredients like the root vegetable maca, which helps nourish the adrenal glands, combats elevated cortisol levels, and reduces stress. It’s a prime candidate for post-workout nutrition. That’s because it helps with recovery, reduces inflammation, and lowers stress. It’s vegan, sustainable, alkaline-forming and common-allergen free (free of soy, dairy, gluten, corn, and sugar). The Vega products such as the Vega Sport Protein as well because it contains Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) and the amino acid commonly known for its assistance in muscle recovery, L-glutamine.
I also recently discovered SuperFood from Ground Based Nutrition..It has no added sugars and wonderful organic plant based ingredients consisting of proteins,greens,fiber,healthy fats vitamins minerals and digestive enzymes. to aid. The Vanilla flavor is yummy.
Newly designed from nutritionist guru, Dr.Charles Passler is the lean body protein. It is also plant based with excellent ingredients designed to give the suffice amount of protein, and vitamins and minerals.
Fresh fruits are easy to digest post-workout. The naturally occurring sugars are a carbohydrate the body can use to restore glycogen stores. Add to the fresh fruit the recommended amount per serving (usually approximately 20g of protein) to help you utilize the sugar. You also want to replenish minerals such as magnesium and potassium. I always add a half banana to my shake for potassium, which helps avoid cramping.
~Choose a clean protein powder:
Investigate what’s in the protein powder. Does it have GMO’s or specify it’s certified non-GMO? Is it gluten-free? Is is 100% vegan verified? Does it contain digestive enzymes for optimal digestion and uptake of nutrients? What other ingredients does it have? If it has added sugar in the form of coconut sugar, fructose, cane juice or syrup, dextrose, etc. then it’s not the best option. Right after a workout your body doesn’t need added sugar. It needs high-quality nutrients, mostly in the form of lean protein and complex carbs.
~Add Low-Glycemic Fruit
Adding a low-glycemic fruit such as berries, papaya, half a banana, or super fruits like acai and goji are a great way to give your body high-quality carbs right after your workout so they can help your muscles recover properly. They’ll also prevent your blood sugar from spiking too high so you don’t crash later and become tired more quickly. All fruit can be healthy but it’s important to eat low-glycemic sources of carbs right after a workout for optimal energy and repair. The bonus is these fruits are some of the healthiest options you can choose from and they’re all delicious in smoothie.
~ Watch the Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are also great to add to your post-workout smoothie but its important to be mindful with them if you’re concerned with optimal muscle repair and digestion. While your body needs healthy fats right after a workout to reduce insulin in the body, it mostly needs protein and complex carbs to restore glycogen in the muscle cells, which helps you recover faster. Too much fat can also be hard to digest right after you workout because your blood hasn’t fully reverted from the muscles cells back to your stomach yet. A couple of teaspoons of healthy fats in a post-workout smoothie is plenty. The best sources include: raw coconut butter, raw almond butter, avocado (about 1/8 of a fruit), chia seeds, flax seeds, or hemp seeds.
~Add Some Superfoods
Superfoods can truly help your body recover faster and provide you with more energy around the clock. Some of the best to include before or after a workout include: cacao, maca, goji, acai, chia,hemp, sprirulina, camu-camu, and wheatgrass powder. You can also buy an all-in-one product as there are many on the market. Look for ones that are are raw, vegan, organic, and non-GMO. While
You can add any choice of nondairy milk to your post-workout smoothie that you like.
~Invest in a good blender. Using a high powered blender will make it easier and more efficient to make delicious smoothies breaking down your fruits/superfoods and blending properly. The Vita Mix is an excellent blender, I’ve had for years and still is in great condition.
Experiment with different ingredients :
Examples of recipes are ..
1/2 cup coconut water or 1/2 cup of
Almond milk (or any other milk of your preference)
• ⅔ c. raspberries, or and strawberries
• ¼ c. almonds, divided
• 1 Tbsp. honey
• 2 tsp. chia seeds
1 serving of protein powder
In a blender add all of the ingredients, reserving a few of the almonds. Blend until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Chop the reserved almonds to stir in if desired. Pour and enjoy.
Banana Blueberry Smash:
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk or 1/2 cup coconut water
2/3 cup of blueberries
1 serving of protein powder
1/2 teaspoon almond butter
Use a high-powered blender like Vita mix and blend until liquid smooth consistency ..enjoy!
1 serving of Protein (natural, unflavored)
½ pomegranate (large, juice drained into mixer)1/2 mango cubed
½ tablespoon chia seeds
½ tablespoon flax seeds
1/3 cup greek yogurt (unflavored) or 1/2 cup coconut water for a dairy free smoothie
1/2 cup coconut milk
4-6 small ice cubes
Combine pomegranate (and its juice), mango, coconut milk, chia and flax seeds in mixer and pulse until a smooth consistency. Then add Superfood Protein, greek yogurt 1/2 cup coconut water for a dairy free option and crushed ice and set to pulse. Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!