Updated: Oct 29, 2021
If you haven't seen my PRE-WORKOUT, check it out here.
Why pay attention to your post-workout food?
20-30 minutes after a workout is when our GLUT-4 transporters are at the surface of the cell. These transporters take glucose into the cell for energy production and repair. They manage our insulin response and fat burn.
Glycogen is the form of glucose that our muscles store for energy, and while we workout these stores are depleted.
If we nourish efficiently after a workout, we can train our GLUT-4 transporters to accept more glucose, build more glycogen and hereby increase our endurance, strength and energy stores for our next workouts and movement activities! YES PLEASE!
First 30minutes after activity:
CARBS + PROTEIN & NOT TOO MUCH FIBER!! We want this fuel to go directly into our muscles without wasting time on digestion.
Protein shake. My favourite is creamy yogurt + cinnamon or cacao + a fruit like banana, dates, honey or berries. If I am on the road I will bring a whey protein and portable fruit snack.
Eggs with sea salt and tomatoes
Fruit and toasted nuts
A piece of meat and simple veg or simple bread (not whole grain and not too much fiber)
Sea salty things, like pickles, olives and cultured veggies.
A bit later, once your system has calmed down:
Add some more fibre
Add more fat to balance metabolism speed
Have a bigger meal
Protein with salad - add starch
Meat and veggies - fattier meat/dark meat more appropriate now
Rice or other grain of choice like toast or bread added to the meal to ensure the muscles get re-loaded.
Legumes if you eat those
Liquids like soups, stews etc. Good options for hydration.
Know your own body. Choose food options that agree with your system. Don't just eat foods because they are "healthy". Digestive upset will prevent your body from gaining all needed nutrients and having the opportunity to fully recover.
Eating excess carbohydrates will just lead to fat-gain so focus on your meal and STOP when you are satisfied.
Add healthy fats like real butter, cheese, fatty meat, avocado, coconut and olive oil to moderate digestion to prevent overeating and recurrent hunger.
Still attempt to eat 4-5 hours apart and have your overnight fast of at least 10-16 hours. Time away from digesting is very important for muscle recovery and injury healing.
Superfoods for recovery:
Water and liquids if you are prone to cramping or muscle aches and pains try find more ways to consume liquids. Try flavouring water with sea salt cucumber, lemon, fruits or make herbal teas hot or cold. Try adding a little bit of sea salt and maple syrup with lemon juice to water to increase hydration, and the ability to consume more. Eat more soups and stews. Try basmati rice since it is made with water and easy to digest.
Fermented brassica family of veggies. These are great to support our liver. A strong liver will help to detox the body of toxins and burn more fat! Try sauerkraut or kimchi or homemade pickles!
Beets. These increase aerobic respiration and improve muscle performance.
Cherries. I like to add these to my smoothies. They have been researched for their ability to reduce inflammation in marathon runners.
Anti-inflammatory spices. Turmeric, cinnamon, Indian spice blends, cayenne, black pepper, sea salt.
Anti-inflammatory herbs. I like to make cool peppermint tea, rosemary tea, sage tea, chaga tea and lemonade.
Anti-inflammatory oils . CBD oil, ghee, MCT oil, omega foods.
Random athlete tips:
Include a mini deep-breathing nap or "savasana" where you lie still on your back or stomach and allow the energy you just cultivated during your workout to pulse through your body. This is a time of healing and detoxification.
Epsom salt baths. These reset the acidity in our muscle tissue. They will calm nervous system, prevent cramping and reduce inflammation in injury.
Ice baths. They speed up injury healing and reduce inflammation. If you have access to these at a gym, they are super effective for times of heavy training!
Apple cider sprays. Spray a dilution of apple cider vinegar (maybe add other essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, sage or lavender) and mist the body to reset pH. Our toners are great for that!
Shea butter / cocoa butter / coconut / almond / jojoba oil on joints. Lubricate sore joints with quality oils that contain vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Have you tried our balms?
Stretch and/or do yoga. Elongate the muscles while you oxygenate the body. Do not underestimate the ability for stretching to reset and tone the body. Controlled body movements and learning to hold your own weight and posture is an efficient way to bring your body into proportion.
Foam rollers. These are amazing for removing knots during intense training.