As an ACE certified nutritionist in Chicago, it is my job to provide healthy advice and nutritious plans for workout to my clients. A number of people ask me “Hey Anatoly Nirshberg, what food should we eat to recover from workout?” and I often reply with “nutritious food that adds value to your life!” But, what is the nutritional meal? Listed below are 5 nutritional tips for workout that I provide to my clients:
- Increase carbohydrates in meals
Carbs are as essential as proteins and provide excellent source of energy for an athlete to continue working out. Your body converts carbs to glucose, which is a type of sugar, and and gets storied in muscles as glycogen.
While working out, your body converts glycogen into energy required to exercise. Consume diets that have at least 60% of its calories coming from various sources of carbohydrates, such as cereals, pastas, fruits (these are my favorite), breads and vegetables. It is recommended to have meal at least 3 hours prior to working out so that you get the required energy for exercising. Avoid consuming starchy or sugary foods, which would lead to dehydration.
For long workout sessions lasting as long as 2 hours, I make sure that my clients replenish with protein shakes and fluids every 15 to 20 minutes. While athletes prefer sports drinks and bars, fresh fruit juices would also work out equally excellent.
You also need to consume more carbs right after doing exercise.
- Consume the right amount of protein
Protein is usually considered as an athlete’s best friend, but wait! It also needs to be consumed in the right amount. It doesn’t provide a lot of energy, but is required to recover from that heavy workout you just did and improve muscle growth.
The ideal calculation of knowing the right amount of protein per day is multiplying 1.2-1.4 with your body weight in KG. For example, if you weigh 90 kg, you would need roughly around 110 grams of protein.
Instead of focusing too much on protein supplements (which results in heavy strain on your kidneys), consume lean meats such as fish and poultry. Oh, nuts, eggs and beans are also equally excellent source of protein.
Consume milk. “What Anatoly Nirshberg? Milk?” Yes, milk. It really isn’t the conventional advice when it comes to post workout meals, but research has shown that consuming a glass of milk after workout helps in providing balanced levels of carbs and protein. Milk has important nutritional elements that are hard to find somewhere else such as calcium and casein which help in strengthening bones and improving muscle recovery.
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times
Exercise, especially intense exercise done in hot weathers quickly leads to dehydration, a condition where water is dehydrated from your body. It is an extremely dangerous medical condition which may lead to serious illness, sudden pass out and cardiac arrests. Consume fluids such as water, and protein-shakes during high intensive workouts. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already in dire need of fluids.
- Get rid of junk foods
The most common, authentic and never-expiring advice that ANY trainer can give is to give up on junk foods. Trust me, cheese hamburgers with chilled drinks and fries taste GREAT but provide ZERO nutritional value. Instead, they make you obese, and increase risks of cardiovascular diseases. Just because you work out extensively, doesn’t mean you get the license to eat junk food. Eating junk food whilst training is one of the prime reasons why people gain weight, even while they are training.