5 Tips On Post-Workout Refuelling From The Recovery Cafe

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With summer fitness plans now well into play and an ever growing number of high intensity workouts emerging in London, we pinned down Transition Zone’s resident Nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert, for some advice on refuelling after exercise.

‘’If you participate in high-intensity workouts (which is every class at Transition Zone), then refuelling your body post-exercise is very important for recovery,” says Rhiannon. We asked her for her top five tips on how to ensure an optimal recovery.

Refuel

During exercise your body breaks down tissues and uses energy (primarily carbohydrates) stored in the blood, liver and muscle. Replenishing the energy lost in the muscle (stored as glycogen) is essential for muscle recovery. Eating properly post-exercise is crucial to enable you to enjoy your workout, perform well and train again.

Hydration

The harder and longer you exercise, the more fluid you lose through perspiration and exhalation.

When our bodies get dehydrated, particularly after exercise or activity that causes us to sweat, we aren’t only low on water, but we are also low on electrolytes. Electrolytes are charged particles – ions – in our body that generate electricity. They are responsible for making the heart beat in rhythm, and making our muscular system work. Electrolytes are the charge behind every nerve impulse in the body.

After exercise or activity, muscle cramps are a signal that the body is dangerously low on electrolytes. If those essential ions aren’t replenished, the body will not work as it should. The major electrolytes our bodies need to function are:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Bicarbonate
  • Phosphate
  • Sulfate

The best way to refuel the body with electrolytes is through all-natural foods and drinks, which contain the essential electrolytes. At the Recovery Cafe in Transition Zone, I offer a range of juices and smoothies containing coconut water, bananas and vegetables to help restore homeostasis. They are tailored to give your body what it needs post-workout. We also provide an option to include an extra healthy superfood and protein shot.

Water

Before working out you must be well hydrated, after all, your brain is composed of 70%water! You can tell whether that’s a potential problem by checking your urine colour before exercise. If it’s dark yellow with a strong urine smell, it’s a good idea to have a cup or two of water 30-60 minutes before you start exercising. If it’s clear to light yellow, it should be fine to just rehydrate gradually after your exercise session without worrying about stopping to drink during the middle of it.

After exercise, drink 2-3 cups of fluid per pound of body weight lost through sweat. To help you get an idea of the amount of fluid lost, weigh yourself before and after intense workouts and record the difference.

Carbohydrates

If you exercise at a modest intensity for 30-60 minutes, three to five times per week, you can maintain adequate carbohydrate stores by eating a balanced diet. However, the classes at Transition Zone are all high-intensity workouts and often clients will do back to back classes on different disciplines. This is when your muscles need to be refuelled with carbohydrates immediately after exercising and again at the next meal or snack. This practice can ensure that carbohydrates stored in the muscle are consistently replenished, enabling you to train for longer and complete those back to back classes.

Protein

Protein is an important building block for muscle. Eating proteins and complex carbohydrates within one hour after exercising can enhance insulin response, which encourages re-synthesis of muscle glycogen.

For a bespoke Nutrition Plan please you can book a Nutrition Consultation with Rhiannon: Rhiannon@transitionzone.co.uk

Watch this space for some summer 2014 workshops on diet, fitness & lifestyle at Transition Zone in Parsons Green.

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