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Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand and any athlete knows that diet is basic to achieving maximum performance. You probably control what you eat even before hard training, but what about after?.... Take note of what a sports restaurant diet should look like now.

After a long session of aerobic work or strength, the body needs a period of restoration. After exercising, not only do you need to stabilize your breathing and heart rate, but also to continue a diet of sport restoration with which you can achieve 2 fundamental objectives:

  1. Rehydration, the replacement of fluids and electrolytes that you have eliminated through sweating.
  2. The supply of nutrients that nourish your muscles and help your glycogen deposits return to their optimum levels.

Continuing a Restoration Diet After Exercise

Establishing the ideal diet plan for each athlete depends on different variables, especially physical peculiarities (weight, anatomical mass, age, sex?) and the type of training carried out. At the time of its establishment, it is also necessary to take into consideration the training times ? rest, to choose always and at all times the one that meets your needs more adapted to your rhythm.

Starting from each and every one of the possible variables, the unbeatable diet to recover after exercising must be based on 3 premises:

Carbohydrates for energy recovery

Playing sports means increasing energy costs. Running, swimming, pedalling, etc. are activities that burn a high number of calories and, after all the effort, it is essential to level off this consumption in order to prevent our muscles from pulling on their reserves and entering the catabolic phase (destruction of muscle mass).

Foods rich in carbohydrates are the main source of energy, so that their intake, to a greater or lesser extent, is required within two to three hours after training or testing.

In a sports restaurant diet, it is best to include foods with low or moderate glycemic index so that the calorific intake is not excessive. It's about restoring energy and not about feasting. Only if you return to training in a short period of time can you resort to higher glycemic index hydrates.

Protein to rebuild your muscles

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Proteins are macronutrients composed of amino acids, many of which are essential. They are basic because they help rebuild muscle fibers that may be damaged by exertion. They are also essential for the development of the muscles themselves and, after hours of exercise, cannot be missing in a restoration diet.

This diet includes foods that provide protein of high biological value such as eggs, meat or fish. In order to give you an idea, after the sports activity, your body will need to recover about 1 gram of protein for every 3 grams of carbohydrates you eat in the hours following the exercise.

Water and electrolytes

As we have said, one of the main objectives of the sports restoration diet is to achieve unbeatable hydration by restoring the body's water balance.

Drinking enough water, at least half a litre in the hours following training and perhaps some isotonic drink, to provide you with the nutrients you need most at the moment (electrolytes such as sodium and potassium), is basic to recover conveniently.

Example of a post-workout restoration diet

Even if you do not feel hungry or thirsty, it is essential to drink fluids and some edible food after the exercise is over and a reasonable time (fifteen to twenty minutes) has elapsed. You can always and at any time resort to specific drinks for athletes and the traditional bars but you can also have an energetic natural snack such as: a juice, a piece of fruit, to serve us an example watermelon, apple, banana, a dairy (iogur or skim milk), some cookies (cereals = hydrates).

Remember that drinking at least half a litre of liquids per hour after training is basic. After three to four hours of careful eating, don't forget to include vegetables and/or salads, meat or fish and slow absorbing cereals such as pasta or rice in your menu.

After exercise, eat and drink always and in all circumstances in moderate amounts and increase them progressively as the hours go by.

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