Do not be hazardous when selecting a post-workout beverage. The 30 to 45 minutes immediately following a vigorous workout session is your window of opportunity to repair and rebuild muscles as well as decrease soreness. You’ll want ingredients that will support your fitness goals. You’re also going to need to rehydrate especially if you just finished hot yoga or it’s summer.
Keep in mind you can’t acheive your fitness goals without the basis of a nourishing, whole foods way of eating. Don’t waste all that time and effort by slacking on your nutrition! Pay attention to balanced nutrition all day long and you’ll be repaid with improvements in exercise performance, exercise recovery, and the bonus of a well-tuned body machine!
It’s your hormones again that are involved in the post-workout scene I’m describing. Right after your intense workout the hormones involved in exercise are aligned to replenish your energy for your next workout and refuel and build muscle. Drinking or eating the right thing will also reduce the hormone cortisol which is elevated after a challenging activity and is responsible for breaking down muscle.
Your body is going to need several nutrients. Top on the list is water, replace the water you sweated out. You can hop on a scale to compare before and after weight. You won’t be able to exercise your body or your brain well without rebalancing your fluids. Next, carbohydrate will encourage insulin to build muscle and reload energy stores. Then, protein to help the carbs refuel and rebuild as well as knock the cortisol level down. If you were biking in the hot summer sun or attended a long hot yoga session you might need some additional potassium and sodium, but your healthy whole food will offer enough to top you off.
Here’s one of my favorite smoothies which accompanies me to my hour-long workouts at the gym. Coconut water is excellent for rehydrating. The blueberries and spinach are full of antioxidants and fiber. Cinnamon helps to steady blood sugar and maca increases energy and relieves hormonal symptoms.
Sometimes I’ll let my smoothie sit in the freezer while I get ready so it’s really cold when I’m ready to sip it!
- ¾ cup frozen blueberries
- ¾ cup coconut water
- 1 scoop plant protein powder
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon almond buter
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- a sprinkle cinnamon
- stevia, to taste
- ice, (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.