The way exercise works is actually pretty simple. Exercise helps stoke your body’s fat-burning and muscle-building capabilities.
The harder (and higher intensity at which) you train, the better response you get. Moderate- to high-intensity exercise stimulates the mobilization of your fat stores (that means it gets fat out of “storage” and into the bloodstream where it can be used by the muscles as energy).
This effect can last up to 24 hours (some experts contend the effect lasts even longer) and allows you to burn more fat even when you’re not exercising.
After your workout, your body is hungry for and ready to convert consumed proteins into new muscle. Depending on your strength and fitness goals, consuming the right nutrients after your workout can help you burn more fat and/or add more muscle.
Volumes of research prove that consuming carbohydrates within 30 minutes post-workout can stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis (energy, in the form of stored glucose, in your muscles). This can help restore your muscles’ energy supplies for future workouts.
Equally as important, consuming protein, particularly its essential amino acids, immediately after and up to 3 hours post-workout provides the body with the building blocks for muscle protein synthesis. When you combine carbs with protein after a workout, especially a prolonged, resistance training session, you can maximize the results of your strength training regimen.
POST-WORKOUT (Carb + Protein Combo) SNACKS
Here’s a short list of ideas for your next post-workout snack:
- Banana with peanut butter
- Greek yogurt with berries/fresh fruit
- Hard-boiled egg and apple slices
- Lean turkey/chicken breast sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado