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Food to refuel: what to eat and drink after your workout

February 5th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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What are the best post-workout foods and drinks to help further your fitness goals? We found out

We’ve all heard of food for fuel, but what about food to refuel?

We asked top personal trainer Dalton Wong of Twenty Two Training to separate the fact from the fiction and to recommend his favourite post-workout foods and rehydrating drinks to suit any type of exercise. Whether you’re post cardio, strength training, HIIT or yoga session, find your recipe for fitness goal success below...

After long-distance running and cardio...

For longer duration and cardio, it’s essential to make sure that you rehydrate. I would advise that water is the best, but if you wanted to replace the electrolytes then I would recommend Jax Coco Coconut Water, £2.20.

If you have been consistently training for a long distance event/cardio, then it’s really important that you consume adequate amounts of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates can help fuel your run and help recovery - just choose better options then CAKE!

After weights or strength training...

Resistance training is an excellent way of improving your lean muscle mass and body composition. It’s really important that you have adequate (not excessive - enough for what your body requires) amounts of protein to help build a strong body. I like to have good quality organic protein at each meal. Post-workout smoothies are great to boost up your protein requirements and I tend to recommend an organic protein blend like Sun Warrior, £39.99. Most shop-bought protein powders are low grade with various chemicals and can have an adverse effect on people’s digestive systems.

MORE GLOSS: Is your workout sabotaging your weight loss goals?

After a HIIT session...

HIIT sessions are pretty intense so I would immediately suggest a post-workout juice or smoothie. Depending on your workout goals, then you may need a protein smoothie or a mixture of vegetable juice. I like to have a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids to help recover and reduce inflammation from HIIT sessions. My favourite meal is wild Alaskan/Canadian salmon, sweet potatoes and greens beans as the perfect meal after a hard session.

After a yoga class...

One of my favourite post-yoga drinks is a shot of fresh wheatgrass. Wheatgrass neutralises toxins, purifies the liver and helps improve blood sugar levels. It’s a quick post-workout shot of health and vital living ingredients.

MORE GLOSS: Diary of a yoga newbie

Avoid...

All fluorescent coloured sports drinks, these are unnatural and are full of chemicals.

All energy drinks, these are packed with artificial colours and their caffeine content can range hugely depending on the brand. Try a black expresso or green tea instead.

Avoid eating a large meal before working out as this may hinder your training. Too many carbs and you may not feel motivated to train, too much protein and you may feel heavy (large amounts of protein may take longer to digest).

Beware the refuel fiction...

1) ‘You need to eat immediately after you exercise.’

Yes it’s important to eat after your workout but make sure you give your body healthy, nutrient dense food or smoothies. Don’t fill your body with commercial post-workout drinks as these are usually poor quality. If it’s a choice of junk right after your session or waiting 60 minutes to get proper food, then it’s well worth the wait for proper food!

2) ‘You need this…..protein or carbs post workout.’

Everybody is a unique individual, so make sure that your post-workout meal is appropriate to YOUR specific goals and ones that are not recommended or seen advertised on TV and magazines.

Follow us @getthegloss and Ayesha @ayesha_muttu.

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