Recovering From Exercise with Food?

06/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"I am not going to eat again until lunch" is the comment I hear from clients who work out at 6:00 am and the next workout is planned for the following morning. Yet, many are too tired and don't replenish their energy after the workout.

Delayed onset muscle soreness occurs about 12 to 24 hours after an intense workout, especially after unfamiliar exercises. An important thought to keep in mind is that without remediation, those muscles won't respond as well during your next workout.

Start with a meal after your workout to recover from exercise.

John Ivy, the chairman at the department of Kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas in Austin, pioneer of research into exercise recovery, explains that exercise makes your muscles responsive to insulin, and therefore increases glycogen muscle uptake. More fuel can be absorbed from the blood stream.

One might think then, that preemptive carbohydrate intake is not the most efficient way to stock muscles with fuel as it was done in the early 90's.

Mr. Ivy showed that that your body is primed by the exercise to help itself replenish lost fuel. This lasts only for about 30 to 40 minutes after a workout he says. Hence, preceding carbohydrate loading does not help your body to take advantage of this insulin response.

Drinking or eating carbohydrates immediately after a strenuous workout is therefore essential to restoring the glycogen you've burned. Combine the carbohydrates with protein; it helps even more then just carbohydrates alone. This can be done simply with a smoothie made with yogurt.

Don't wait after a workout to eat. To help your muscles recover and be ready for your next productive workout, implement the strategy of eating protein and carbohydrates after your workout. And don't forget, carbohydrates are found in vegetables as well.

Kind regards,


Stefan Aschan is a leading expert on lifestyle, health and fitness who has helped more than 30,000 people get fit through advice on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes. For your free "How to live 100 years in perfect health" report and the must read "updates and solution" newsletter on how to have 10 times more success, stay on top of your goals, and accomplish the change of body and appearance, go here.