After a workout, as a sportsperson or film maker, your body’s stores of glycogen (the Carb stored in your muscles and liver) are depleted. If you don’t replenish them, your body won’t recover properly. After a workout, your muscles are like sponges, ready to absorb everything and anything you feed them, which is why you need to focus on the quality of this meal.
This is particularly important for athletes who partake in intense training sessions or competitions. If you only workout a couple of times a week, you will likely restore your glycogen between sessions; however, athletes who train hard almost every day must really pay attention to what they eat immediately after they exercise.
Moreover, not only is it important to feed your muscle the carbohydrates needed to promote glycogen synthesis, it’s also crucial to feed some protein to stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit what’s known as proteolysis (protein breakdown).
The best way to replenish your glycogen stores is to consume carbohydrate-rich foods within the 30 minutes that follow your workout. Since your blood flow is increased and your muscle cells are more sensitive to insulin right after your workout, you’ll get the best results if you consume recovery foods within this time frame.
Carbohydrate sources include pasta, rice, pita bread, potatoes, watermelon, bagels and quinoa. High-quality protein sources include grilled chicken, turkey, salmon and free-range eggs. In addition, a fluid containing electrolytes can help replace those lost through sweat. The role of protein is less well understood. Consumption of rapidly digestible, high-quality proteins such as whey and soy will aid muscle repair and muscle soreness.