We often wonder what we need to eat before and during a workout to break it down, but the foods we eat Later Can have a huge impact on recovery. Suppose one of your goals this year is to run your first marathon. Recovering your body after a long training run is vital to a speedy recovery and helps you hit important daily goals without hitting the wall. The best fuel for that job: Carbohydrates.
Yes, we know that carbohydrates like bread, pasta and rice, which our body digests into glucose (raises blood sugar) have gotten a bad rep in some diet circles. But these are important for our body’s immediate energy needs – from breathing, thinking and walking to running and training. Also, when we don’t use all the glucose in the blood for instant energy, it is converted into glycogen – a type of sugar that can be easily stored by our muscles and liver for further access whenever we are not in that “absorbing” state.
Muscle glycogen is the main fuel source used by athletes (and will have to recover later) for endurance training জন্য for any strenuous aerobic activity lasting more than an hour. In fact, your endurance training and performance are directly related to those glycogen stores. Once it is exhausted during training, you will feel the lack of that energy and fatigue. And while some athletes argue that they can work out with lower carbohydrate levels than they normally recommend, there is a big difference between “working out” and performing better.
The high-glycemic carbohydrate foods you eat (adding potatoes, fruit and maltodextrin supplements to the list above) will help replenish glycogen stores if eaten immediately after endurance exercise. Why? This is because muscle tissue is like a sponge and thus absorbs glucose faster from high-glycemic carbohydrates when needed.
So, how many carbohydrates should you take after your workout. The best way to quickly replenish muscle glycogen is to take 1.2 grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates per 1 kg of body weight immediately after exercise. Waiting two hours after exercise before replenishing carbohydrates will reduce glycogen synthesis by as much as 50 percent.
What can you do if you can’t find high-glycemic carbohydrates right after exercise? Choose a high-quality supplement to ensure you are replacing glycogen for optimal performance and recovery. Here are our seven favorites.
Jordan MazurMS, RD, Nutrition and Team Sports Dietitian Coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
Table of Contents:
Subscribe to YouTube for access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more!