Everyone is starving after a workout; I know I always am.
Many people slurp down a shake provided by their gym or make a shake at home. It is extremely important to eat after a workout, but you can get so many more nutrients from an actual meal rather than a liquid shake.
While you are working out, your body uses up all the nutrients you have obtained through food prior to working out. You need to replenish those nutrients so your body can recover and be the best it can be. Eating the proper nutrients can help decrease muscle breakdown, help build muscles, improve glycogen levels and help with overall recovery. Protein post-workout helps keep those muscles strong because it prevents them from breaking down.
Carbohydrates such as bananas, sweet potatoes and tuna can help with cramps and a speedy recovery. These carbohydrates help restore those glycogen levels, which is extremely important.
You may have heard that fats are bad after working out, but think again! A small amount will not affect your recovery or gain of muscle.
One of the best things to have after a workout instead of that quick shake is a glass of chocolate milk. It helps aid in muscle growth and cuts recovery time. It has the perfect number of carbs for a post-workout snack and the right, small amount of fat to ingest post-workout as well.
So maybe think twice about that shake after your next trip to the gym!
Mallory Ritthamel is a third-year student majoring in nutrition. They can be reached at MR826188@wcupa.edu.