Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice.
I was eating the wrong foods, and I never knew.
I thought my diet was pretty good, but it turned out that wasn’t the case because all of the food I ate after a workout caused me to gain weight. It didn’t matter what type or amount of workout I did.
The foods you eat after a workout can also have a huge effect on post-workout recovery — how sore, or not sore, your muscles are the next day.
It’s a natural feeling to eat something delicious and satisfying after a rigorous exercise session. And to make things worse, many foods marketed as “healthy” and “natural” foods contain ingredients that hinder the recovery process.
“Eating healthy right after a workout is as important as choosing the correct exercise.”
After encountering plenty of ruined workouts and misguided information, I realized what one should never eat after an exercise session for better recovery, restoring bodily energy, building muscle, and boosting metabolism.
If you’re looking for foods that won’t make your body feel worse post-workout, then avoid these foods at all costs.
1. Alcoholic beverages
Alcohol contains high levels of processed sugar and two to three times as many calories as protein or carbohydrates (seven calories per gram). The body will break down alcohol before other foods, which causes dehydration and inhibits the absorption of nutrients by the intestines.
The research titled, “The Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Recovery Following Resistance Exercise,” says:
“By raising cortisol levels, lowering testosterone levels, and blocking protein synthesis, alcohol hinders the natural healing process after an exercise.”
2. Highly processed foods
After a workout, protein is the most important nutrient to eat because it increases lean muscle mass and speeds up your metabolism.
Your muscles have been put through a lot of stress during exercise, which isn’t necessarily bad for you but has the potential to cause injury if not properly cared for.
A research study shows that, after exercise, insulin levels are low, so your cells can use amino acids quickly without storing them as fat. Simply put, protein is gold after exercising!
Highly processed foods can throw off your blood sugar levels post-exercise and slow down recovery time because it’s difficult for us humans to digest in large quantities.
Processed foods can cause inflammation in your stomach, leading to acid reflux, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal issues that don’t come with eating a healthy smoothie or getting plenty of protein.
Processed foods are also known to behave as an appetite stimulant — meaning it encourages overeating by tricking the brain’s hunger sensors into thinking you are hungry — so if you are looking for a post-workout meal, be sure to choose wisely.
3. Canned and non-organic foods
Canned and inorganic foods have been cooked in a high heat environment, negatively affecting the protein.
From a scientific standpoint, high heat will denature or scramble any protein that was not completed broken down when you start eating it.
This means that instead of easily pulling out amino acids for repair and muscle building to be used by your body, large chunks of protein actually break down incorrectly within the stomach, causing GI distress and other issues. The whole process really slows digestion time to a crawl making it hard for your body to recoup after a training session in one go.
Canned foods are often very high in sodium, which is bad for you when exercising.
Cans are often lined with bisphenols, which can imitate estrogen in the body. These additives have been associated with health problems such as reproductive syndrome and behavioral issues.
Which of these foods have you been eating after a workout?
[The information provided here must not be taken as professional medical advice.]