Post Work-Out Protein

March 23, 2011

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Photo: Courtesy of Maggie Smith

You just finished an intense work out at the gym and you feel great…now what? The common thought, especially if you are exercising to stay in shape or lose weight, might involve food. That thought is one that should come after every work out as eating post work-out is an essential part of exercising. USA Today published an article focusing on the importance of protein in a post work-out snack, while focusing on Olympic winter athletes.

But the truth is, we aren’t all Olympic athletes and we do all need to eat a balanced snack or meal after exercising to increase the benefits. As Nancy Clark, a certified sports dietitian (from right around the corner in Boston) discusses in the article, protein is just as important as carbohydrates when deciding what to eat. Carbohydrates replace your glucose and energy stores, which are exhausted during exercise.  Protein on the other hand, helps for recovery and to rebuild your muscles. Therefore, it’s best to find a balance between both. Clark recommends a yogurt and fruit shake in the article and some of my favorites include, peanut butter crackers, cliff bars, or trail mix. Keep in mind the sooner the snack the better for enhancing your work-out and keeping your body in top shape.

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The importance of post work-out nutrition is essential for replacincing all that is lost during exercise. A fast digesting protein can be used at this time. You should always try to get this meal within 2 hours of working out.

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