What to eat after you workout for weight loss and muscle tone

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If you're serious about your workout, it's important to think about what you're eating afterwards in order to fuel the body and promote weight loss and muscle building.

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We've spoken to nutritionist Emma Wright Boycott about just what foods will make the difference after you workout to make all that hard work pay off.

When it comes to losing weight and toning up there are some things to remember, and it's not all what you think.

Protein


Protein is very important for any diet and fitness routine as it is processed more efficiently than carbs as well as building muscle.

Emma says, " Generally if you are looking to lose weight you should try to increase fat and protein in relation to carbohydrate, but everyone is different.

This is where protein shakes can be useful!"

Although it is important to be aware of what is in your shakes and just how healthy they are.

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Carbs


It may be tempting to think that carbs would be a waste of all the effort you put in at the gym but your body needs them after a workout.

They are required to "replenish the glycogen stores (glycogen is the chemical form of carbohydrates that is stored in muscles and when you do weight training it's important to replace the glycogen you loose)."

It is a common understanding that weight training is the most effective way to lose weight and build muscle definition, so if that's you're goal don't turn you back on all carbs.

However, do opt for things like brown rice, sweet potato and root vegetables over bread and pasta.

Sweet potato

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Fats


Good fats do exist and eating them after your workout won't mess up your diet.

Add things like avocado and nuts to your post-gym diet.

"If you are exercising you should also make sure that you are eating enough iron to maintain energy levels and oxygen efficiency – you can get iron from red meat and dark, leafy green vegetables but it's a hard mineral to absorb so you can also try taking a natural liquid supplement like Spatone Sport to top up your iron levels."

Timing


There is something body builders refer to as their 'anabolic window', this refers to the time after a workout, during which muscles develop from the protein you eat at a faster rate.

Emma says, "If you are doing lots of weight training it is particularly important to try and eat protein as soon as possible afterwards so your muscles can start to repair themselves."

In women this is less about gaining serious amounts of muscle and more about toning and avoiding muscle ache.

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