You did it!
You put in the work. Sweated out the day. Maybe even PR’d your 5K or your back squat.
The work dedicated to your workout is admirable; however it’s what happens immediately after the workout that matters the most.
The first beverage or snack post workout is what will not only replenish what you burned, but will determine how ready you are for tomorrow’s workout.
Within the first 60minutes post workout, your body is CRAVING good nutrition. Visualize your dog or cat as you ready their kibble and their ‘high alert’ and excited stance to dive in. Now, replace the visual of your cute furry 4-legged buddy with your muscles. Post exercise, your muscles are ‘standing’ there with arms wide open anxiously awaiting their building blocks to repair and rebuild post sweat sesh.
But, depending on the type of exercise you completed, there are some beverages that are better than others.
POST RUN OR CARDIO SWEAT SESH
One of the best post exercise beverages after an intense cardio workout is coconut water. Coconut water has massive electrolytes and antioxidants that will ensure you don’t get dehydrated and restore lost potassium (the electrolyte lost in sweat that helps to store carbohydrates).
Another option is, believe it or not, chocolate milk. If you forgot your water bottle, simply dash into the nearest 7-11 and scoop up a bottle of Nesquik. Yep, you are reading right. The bottle of chocolate milk has just the right ratio of carb to protein (3:1 or 4:1) and you get the added bonus of calcium and vitamin D.
If you are on the other side of a lifting sesh where you cleaned house in the snatch or found your new 3-rep back squat your needs are a little different.
If your workout consisted of more lifting than cardio, then this is when you want to have your scoop of protein ready to mix with coconut water (for the benefits listed above) or just simply water.
After working out under load, your body needs protein for tissue growth and repair. The generally agreed upon amount is 20grams of protein. The same window of opportunity exists. Try and consume your protein within 60minutes to best stimulate muscle protein synthesis.