It's important to eat the right foods after your workout as consuming the wrong things can negate all your hard work. The goal here is to really consolidate the benefits of your workout. To help you achieve your fitness goals faster, one should be mindful of what you eat after exercise. After a workout, your body needs the right energy and nutrients to rebuild muscle and improve your health. Here are some foods to avoid after your workout.
This one is a no-brainer, you know what we mean by fast food. This is really anything you can find at McDonald's from french fries to burgers. Others include hot dogs and pizza. These high-fat foods slow down digestion and can be detrimental to your health. You may crave these foods after a workout because your body wants more calories and energy. But in the long term, eating these foods often (especially after a workout) can prove unwise. These savory sins can put you a step back in your fitness goals as they are high in unhealthy fats.
Just a Salad or Raw Veggies
This may come as a surprise since salads and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods. But they are not enough to help you recover after a demanding workout. As such, they do not make for good post-workout options. You need to intake more nutrients and calories to replenish your body of the depleted stores. Somewhat akin to not eating after your workout, which should be avoided. You do not want to have low blood sugar from your workout and risk feeling sick or fainting. Make sure to eat and to eat enough.
Salty Processed Food
Potato chips, pretzels and other salty binges are a bad idea as they can lower the level of potassium in your body, which is an essential electrolyte that gets depleted from a workout. You may crave foods high in sodium as you have lost electrolytes through sweat during your workout. Although salt does play a vital role in the body's fluid and mineral balance, salty food should be avoided in high amounts. Instead, you may want to opt for a banana as they are high in potassium.
Caffeine or Energy Drinks
They may help before a workout to boost your energy levels but they are a no-no after your workout. Although coffee can help muscles recover by increasing the speed by which glycogen is replenished in the body and contains antioxidants, too much caffeine increases the stress hormone cortisol. Like anything else, it's important to keep things in moderation. Elevated cortisol levels can increase inflammation, insulin resistance, and metabolic dysfunction. The extra energy from caffeine or energy drinks are better put to use before a workout than after. The excess energy may also make it harder to achieve your fitness goals as they may negate the benefits of the workout.
Donuts and Sugary Desserts
Although you do need to replace the carbs lost during a workout, donuts are high in fast sugars and fat that can really clog up the arteries. You may have sugar cravings after a workout and that is normal as your body is seeking carbohydrate energy. However processed sugary desserts provide only a fleeting spike in blood sugar, followed by a sharp drop known as a sugar crash. This imbalance is unhealthy for your body and wastes energy. Sugary desserts are often made of processed and refined sugars that form what is referred to as an empty carb.