How eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body and muscles recover. Picture: Supplied
How eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body and muscles recover. Picture: Supplied

How eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body recover

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jun 9, 2020

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Eating after an exercise is as crucial as the workout itself. 

With more freedom to exercise during level 3 of lockdown, more South Africans are hitting the streets to get active. 

Tiger Brands nutritionist, Arthur Ramoroka shared how eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body and muscles recover. 

In a statement, Ramoroka said that during workout muscles use the glycogen stored in the body to keep themselves going and that once the stored glycogen in the muscles has been depleted, proteins start to get broken down to continue fueling the workout. 

He explained that it’s for this reason that the body needs to be replenished with the right nutrients post-workout. 

How eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body and muscles recover. Picture: Supplied

He said that to help replenish glycogen stores, assist with the repair of damaged muscles, and stimulate the growth of muscles and that it is important to consume the right protein-rich foods after a workout.

“Consuming protein after a workout, whether it’s some peanut butter or a protein meal solution, is a great way to help your body and muscles recover. This is not only true for fitness enthusiasts working towards a goal but also for those just wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle,” he said. 

We also spoke to dietitians Nhluvuko Ngobeni and Dr Christa North, who is also a nutrigenomics specialist at Geneway, on how eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body and muscles recover. 

How eating the right protein-rich foods post-workout can help your body and muscles recover. Picture: Supplied

Ngobeni said after your workout your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins, therefore it is particularly important to eat right protein-rich foods after your workout. 

"Protein-rich foods to eat after your workout include an animal or plant-based protein, eggs, salmon, chicken, tuna, protein bar, and Greek yoghurt," he said.

North said during exercise glycogen, the carbohydrate energy stores found in blood, muscles, and liver are depleted and also, fluids along with electrolytes are lost through sweat, and muscles get "damage.  

“Exercise causes tiny tears in the muscle fibres. The post-workout meal is thus essential for replenishing the glycogen stores, restoring fluid and electrolyte balance, and stimulating protein synthesis to repair and build new muscle tissue. 

"Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates and protein is thus important after a workout. The protein you eat supplies the building blocks to repair the muscles ('structure') and the carbohydrates are essential to refuel the muscles. The perfect food for these ratios tend to be milk-based products such as yoghurt or chocolate milk,” she said. 

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