Many people think that breakfast is one of the most important meals, but for those who are concerned about nutrition and fitness, eating post-workout is the key. You must restore nutrients and calories after a hard workout. Eating a proper post-workout meal will help to repair muscle, increase energy and make the workout more effective. During the workout, you require fuel or glycogen present in the muscles for energy. After you have finished your work out, your muscles feel depleted of glycogen and break down. Eating or drinking something that includes both protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to one hour after a workout restores your energy, builds muscles and increases or maintains your metabolism.

You should avoid fatty foods. However, there are many post-workout meals that offer a great balance of nutrients. The following post-workout eating tips will speed up your recovery and maximize your exercise benefits.

Grab a snack right after your workout

Don't wait for the next meal. Consider eating a cereal bar, granola, a smoothie, a fruit cup, trail mix, or crackers with cheese. Do not eat foods rich in fat; they slow the digestion process.

Drinking water is very important before and after your workout

To ensure you remain hydrated, drink two-three glasses of water pre-workout and a glass of water every 15-20 minutes during your fitness session. As soon as you complete your workout routine, you need to drink another 2-3 glass of water to stay hydrated.

Restore electrolytes with a sports drink

If you have been exercising for more than an hour (particularly when it's hot and you are sweating), you need to have a sports drink that contains electrolytes.

Load up on carbohydrates

More than 50 percent of your calories must come from carbohydrates after your workout session. Your body requires carbohydrates to restore glycogen in the body after a workout session. You should eat foods that contain carbohydrates as soon as you finish your exercise session. A fruit punch or smoothie is an ideal choice for easily digestible carbohydrates; however, cheese rolls and low-fat muffins are equally good.

Don't forget the protein

While carbohydrates are a must, it is equally important to eat high-quality protein after a workout session. Protein will prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue for required energy as well as start the process of repairing your muscles. Fish, meat, dairy and nuts are examples of good protein sources. Protein shakes or bars are also a great alternative.

Avoid fats

Fat does not play any significant role in the post-workout recovery. Eating food containing unsaturated fat after the workout session does not help your weight loss and fitness goals. Our body uses fat for energy as well as insulation. So consider limiting your saturated fat intake to 20-25 percent and unsaturated fat intake to less than 10 percent.

Eating the right kind of meal at the right times after your workout is necessary for managing your energy level, rebuilding muscles and maximizing exercise benefits.

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