You have already heard that the gym is only 20% while what you do outside of it, mainly in the kitchen, forms the rest 80%. When you work so hard at building muscles, you don’t want to jeopardize your efforts with unhealthy eating. So, we came up with a list of meal ideas to help you hit those macros and see results for all the hard work you have been putting in.
Why Care about what you eat?
When we work out, the body uses up stored glycogen for energy and in the process, muscles are broken down too. You end up losing a bit of muscle – that you are working hard to gain – and so it is vital that the immediate nourishment replace that muscle. The meal you consume will help you feed your muscles for regeneration and growth, stock up on energy to replace what you have lost and decrease the breakdown of muscles. If you fail to eat sometime after a strenuous workout, you are likely to keep losing muscle as it is broken down to make up for the glycogen deficit.
Protein for that Muscle
One of the reasons that most of us work out is to gain muscle and so you want to ensure that you are eating for that after your session. Since lifting weights breaks down muscle, you want to eat enough to reduce the breakdown and also to regenerate new growth. Experts advise that we eat between0.14 and 0.23g(equivalent to (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) of protein per pound of body weight within 45 minutes of a workout.
Carbs for Recovery
The body’s main source of fuel – glycogen – is used up when we work out at various rates depending on the form of workout. Endurance activities such as running and swimming use up more energy than resistance workouts and for this reason, carb requirements will differ.
0.5–0.7gper pound equivalent to 1.1–1.5 grams/kg is the adequate amount of carbs to consume after a workout and it is even better when paired with proteins for better glycogen synthesis.
It has been thought before that consuming fats after a workout reduces the absorption rate of nutrients but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, it may slow down the rate of nutrient absorption but it does not reduce a meal’s effectiveness. Healthy fats are to be consumed in small doses or they will be counterproductive.
Does the Timing Matter?
The jury is still out on this one, but it has been found that the body ability to rebuild is at its highest after a workout. For this reason, you will benefit immensely from eating within 45 minutes of your workout. If you consumed a meal rich in these three groups before your workout, then you will get its benefits even after the workout.
If you are unable to eat within this window, fret not as it is not equal to missing your annual auto car insurance payment. You can still make up for lost time by hitting your macros later.