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1 week ago
Protein shakes aren’t the best form of post workout nutrition: Know what to have instead

Most people hitting the gym regularly know that protein shakes are the thing to guzzle down after an intense workout. But this may not be true. In fact, not many people know what exactly post workout nutrition is. According to a new study, protein shakes might not be the best drink to help in muscle recovery after an intensive workout session. Researchers from University of Lincoln, the UK, found that carbohydrate-rich sports drinks are an effective way to repair muscles instead of protein shakes. This study was published in the Journal of Human Kinetics.

Researchers studied 30 males in the age group of 20 to 30 years. All participants had a year’s experience of resistance training. They were then divided into three groups. Each group was then asked to consume hydrolysate drink, a flavoured carbohydrate drink and a milk drink respectively after a gruelling resistance training session.

Proper nutrition works better in muscle repair: Experts

Post the session, the subjects were re-tested and levels of muscle soreness was rated on a scale of zero to 200. Zero signified ‘no muscle soreness’ and 200 meant ‘muscle soreness as bad as it could be’. Researchers asked the subjects to complete a series of strength and power assessments, like jumping as high as they could from a squatted position.

Before the workout session, the subjects rated their muscle soreness between 19 and 26, which was quite low. After 24 to 48 hours of weight lifting sessions, their muscle soreness was reassessed. And this time, it was found to be high and the ratings went over 90 for most of the subjects.

What’s worth noting is that the recovery response and soreness ratings were same across the groups. This implies that irrespective of the recovery drinks consumed, like whey protein shakes or sports drinks, there was no additional benefit per se.

Researchers say that proteins and carbohydrates are essential for the effective repair of muscle fibres following intensive strength training. But this research suggests that varying the form of protein immediately after training does not influence the recovery response or reduce muscle pain. Instead, a healthy diet would be better for muscle recovery. But first we must know exactly what constitutes proper post workout nutrition.

Here, we tell you what foods to have for proper post workout nutrition.

Eggs

These are a must for speedy recovery. They contain all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and branched-chain amino acids, which reduce muscle damage in the body. The yolk is important too as it contains half the protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

Coconut water

It contains a high level of antioxidants and nutrients. It is rich in electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. Therefore, you must include this in your post workout nutrition. Only thing is that it has a low sodium content. So you must replenish your sodium with something else.

Cherry juice

It has antioxidants that helps to fight off muscle damage. Just buy cherries from the market and juice it. It also has beneficial anthocyanins and flavonoids that will help you recover after your workout.

Avocado

It contains monounsaturated fat that helps in muscle repair and B vitamins to stimulate your metabolism. You can eat it like a vegetable or drink it like a smoothie.

Sweet potatoes

This is a superfood with vitamin A and 26 grams of carbohydrates. It can restore your glycogen supply. Besides, it is also rich in fibre. It will replenish your energy levels faster after an intense workout.

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