What Should You Eat After Exercise?

Posted on February 19th, 2010 by Dr. Mercola  |  25 Comments »

What you eat before and after you exercise can influence the positive benefits of your workout on your body. You can exercise on an empty stomach but it’s not advisable to skip meals. It’s better to eat a healthy meal a couple of hours before you hit the gym or start any physical activities. How long you wait depends on the size and content of the meal and the type and intensity of activities/workouts you will engage in.

On the other hand, a new study shows that exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity, particularly when you eat low carbohydrate meals after your exercise session or workout, and that consuming less carbs after exercising is better than eating a low-calorie meal.

You don’t need to starve yourself after sweating it out because this may actually slow down your metabolism. Natural and alternative health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola believes that what you eat after you work out is more important than what you have before.

After exercising, your muscles have been pushed to the limit and your body is low in nitrogen, therefore, you’ll need complex carbohydrates from vegetables and amino acids from high quality animal protein like organic free-range chicken and eggs and grass-fed beef, Dr. Mercola advises. Combining a quality carb and protein source in every meal is important for whatever type of exercise and even if it’s a non-workout day.

Mercola recently joined forces with renowned fitness trainer and life coach Darin Steen to help you get more expert advice on how to get healthy, particulary on how you can get the most out of your workouts. Here are Darin’s recommendations on what you should eat after your workout:

•    Aerobic/Cardio – After engaging in a fat loss-centered cardiovascular workout, take a break for about 45-60 minutes before eating a whole food, high-quality source of protein and vegetable-type carbohydrate. An example would be chicken and spinach salad. You don’t need to wait an hour after the session because you’ll want to ride the fat-burning wave and avoid starvation mode.

•    Resistance – A post muscle-building resistance workout meal needs to be absorbed rapidly because you only have a one-hour window to open the gates for amino acids, glycogen and other anabolic nutrients to enter and help repair your muscles. You’ll want to eat this meal 15-30 minutes after an intense weight training session. Failure to do so may diminish the chances of allowing your muscles to recover properly to make them bigger and stronger. Darin’s recommended meal is whey protein and a higher glycemic, fast released, starchy carbohydrate such as a banana.

Go for Real, Whole Food

Many gym rats load up on energy bars and energy drinks, thinking they’re as good as advertised by food manufacturers and contain herbs, minerals, proteins, vitamins and other nutrients.

But let’s face it: the two active ingredients in these products are caffeine and sugar.

Many energy bars and drinks also contain additives, artificial flavors and sweeteners, toxins and useless calories.

Besides, you don’t need to chug a sports drink unless you are severely dehydrated and are losing more than a quart of water in sweat in 30-45 minutes.

The ticket to optimal performance is in eating whole, biodynamic and organic foods. So next time you need a quick snack after a workout, forget about that energy bar and go for these beneficial sources of carbs and protein:

•    any vegetable (with the exception of carrots and beets, which are high in sugar), particularly dark, green and leafy varieties like spinach, kale or Swiss chard
•    fruits that are low in fructose like apricots, cantaloupe, lemons, limes, passion fruit, plums and raspberries
•    lean, grass-fed red meat
•    organic free range chicken and eggs
•    raw nuts and seeds
•    whey protein

You are what you eat and what you are is influenced by how much you exercise so eat and exercise right.

Tags: , ,


Responses to “What Should You Eat After Exercise?”

  1. chronic myeloid leukemia says on :

    Thank you for give very good informations. Your blog is greatI am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t find. What a perfect site. Like this website your website is one of my new favs.I like this data shown and it has given me some sort of desire to succeed for some reason, so keep up the good work

  2. ldl cholesterol levels says on :

    Good!Your blog is unique, the website is good information I am sincerely admiring your capability to respond in a short time with such constructive advices. Best wishes to my favorite writer. Thanks!

  3. Ossie Ownby says on :

    I have been researching this just before my afternoon class and came across your blogging site. Just the thing I had been searching for. Great information and appropriate. Appreciate it so much :-)

  4. business travel says on :

    Great Post!! Thank you very much!

  5. Designer Handbags says on :

    Fabulous post as always!

  6. 中信房屋 says on :

    Good idea. Can be considered a learned thing, ok!

  7. Solar Energy says on :

    Great post! I am a solar panel engineer and was looking for similar blogs but found yours really interesting.

  8. Magalys says on :

    How safe is it for men to use creatine supplements when they want to be healthy but also bulk up? Which natural creatine supplements do you recommend?
    Magalys

  9. JonathanB says on :

    My 19 year old son is trying to build muscle and is exercising with me at the gym. He and I are also on a healthy diet emphasizing lean meats and lots of vegetables (low carb- no breads, potatoes, etc). The issue is that he has a tough time eating enough calories. Healthy foods are not as calories dense as junk food and its difficult for him to get the calories he needs. Any suggestions? I’m buying him some of Dr. Mercola’s Protein powder. Thanks

  10. Gabriel Wigington says on :

    Buy coconut oil (mct) to increase calories for adding muscle! Can’t be stored as bodyfat. Taste awesome too!

  11. play 2 win deathrun says on :

    I simply couldn’t depart your site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info an individual provide for your guests? Is going to be back steadily in order to inspect new posts

  12. tree trimming in warminster says on :

    If you would like to grow your familiarity only keep visiting this web site and be
    updated with the latest information posted here.

  13. flat panel installation in virginia beach says on :

    I drop a leave a response whenever I appreciate a article on a website or if
    I have something to contribute to the discussion.

    Usually it’s caused by the passion communicated in the post I browsed. And after this article What Should You Eat After Exercise? | Dr. Joseph Mercola on Natural Health Products and Articles. I was excited enough to post a thought 😉 I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Is it simply me or do some of these comments appear like written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional online sites, I’d like
    to keep up with you. Would you make a list all of all your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  14. What Foods Help With Losing Belly Fat says on :

    We do accept all of the strategies you may have supplied inside your article. They can be very persuading and will definitely work. On the other hand, your threads are extremely swift to begin with. May you want prolong these folks a little through when? Appreciation for the actual post.

  15. raspberry ketone weight loss says on :

    It’s truly very difficult in this active life to listen news on TV, so I only use world wide web for that reason, and take the hottest information.

  16. style says on :

    Hello, everything is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    data, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.

  17. diets quick weight loss says on :

    Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing
    a blog post or vice-versa? My site goes over a lot of the
    same subjects as yours and I believe we could
    greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an
    email. I look forward to hearing from you! Great
    blog by the way!

    Also visit my web blog: diets quick weight loss

  18. lip wrinkles says on :

    Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my
    blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme.

    Appreciate it

    My web site; lip wrinkles

  19. harga notebook asus\u003cb\u003e x200ca says on :

    Now, don’t you think getting a cheap quality laptop
    from your world known quality providing company this kind of safety
    net. This machine should enhance the experience that any user is looking for inside a computer, as an illustration its
    i5 Intel core processor.

    Description: You must be able to offer elaborated description in regards to the business plans, and also the mutual benefits
    of both parties. Know exactly the type of last report is predicted
    from your starting.
    asus x200ca cell 1007u harga notebook asus\u003cb\u003e x200ca The narrative writing prompts may be the best ones for children in elementary
    school. These submissions are used as being a means of driving traffic in
    your website, traffic that has the possible of changing into customers, but that’s don’t assume all.

  20. rea says on :

    What’sup, I check yourr new stuff daily. Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  21. Use expert SEO services in New York says on :

    Use expert SEO services in New York

    What Should You Eat After Exercise?

  22. YouTube.com says on :

    You might have set amazing unique views in this
    content. I accept lots of the principal points. This info is clearly
    composed for visitors that love quite difficult content.
    This is ideal for all of us thinkers.

    my web site: YouTube.com

  23. Bernd says on :

    Hello, after reading this awesome post i am as well delighted to
    share my knowledge here with colleagues.

  24. protein muscle building says on :

    protein muscle building

    What Should You Eat After Exercise?

  25. p90x diet says on :

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also go to see this
    web site on regular basis to obtain updated from latest information.

Leave a Reply