The first thing you should do after a workout is consume a meal that contains sugar. Even if you are trying to shed off some weight, it is important to have sugar immediately after your workout. It will ensure proper muscle growth and recovery, among other benefits. During exercise, a lot happens to the body and sugar helps bring the body back to normal. The body uses up a lot of energy during your workout, and by the end of the workout, your energy stores are depleted. If you don’t consume them then you will put your body at a risk of developing many complications that can be avoided by taking the sugars.
Some of the benefits of consuming sugar immediately after your workout include:
Prevents Muscle Breakdown: After your workout, the body will have exhausted many of the calories that you had taken prior to your workout. The body needs a constant supply of calories for energy production. If you don’t consume sugars immediately after a workout, the muscle tissues will be broken down to release energy and this can affect muscle growth.
Promotes Muscle Growth and Recovery: Consuming sugar will ensure that the muscle tissues are not broken down and instead will promote growth. If there are any injured muscles, recovery will be faster if you take sugar immediately after your workout.
Restoration of Glycogen Stores: When you workout, you use up a lot of energy. The body breaks down glycogen stores to produce energy that you need for the workout. The stored energy is important because it helps the body to function during a workout. Eating carbohydrates immediately after a workout helps to replenish the glycogen stores so that they will be available the next time that the body needs them.
Increase Fat Metabolism & Fat Loss: If you don’t have sugars after a workout, the body will have the impression that you are fasting. It will strive to store more fat to have adequate reserves during the expected starvation period. During your workout, the body burns a lot of fat. The fat is broken to free fatty acids that take quite some time to be fully eliminated from the body. If you don’t take carbohydrates immediately after your workout, the body may start converting the free fatty acids to triglycerides and putting them back to the adipose stores.
Increase Insulin Sensitivity: After consuming sugar, the insulin in the bloodstream will increase and improve performance to ensure that more carbohydrates are directed to the muscles. With increased sensitivity, more nutrients will be diverted to the muscles for repair, replenishment and growth.
Reduces Muscles Soreness, Pain and Fatigue: The sugars that you eat will be directed to the muscles to cater for the damaged muscles. With a good supply of nutrients, the damaged muscle tissues will heal faster. If you are experiencing any of these, you should consider taking sugars because they will help you get rid of the pain and soreness. At times you might experience fatigue immediately after exercise. This is because the energy stores have been used up and fatty acids and other products of metabolism have accumulated in the muscles. Eating sugars will replenish the stores and increase blood flow to the muscles. With increased blood flow, the products of metabolism will be transported out of the muscles faster thus relieving fatigue.
Improved Performance: If you will be taking part in other activities after your workout, then you will need to take in calories to supply energy that you need for these activities. The body will have depleted the energy stores and therefore you won’t be able to perform well if you don’t take in any calories. Your blood sugar levels can be very low and this may affect insulin sensitivity. You will cause a lot of strain to the cells and muscles if you continue with an activity without an adequate supply of energy. You might end up damaging some of your muscles and it usually takes some time for them to get back to normal after they have been destroyed.
Aids in Weight Loss: When you consume carbohydrates immediately after your workout, the calories that you take in are broken down for energy and the rest are used to replenish glycogen stores. Therefore, hardly any calories will be converted to fat and this reduces your chances of adding unhealthy weight. After consuming sugar, the body will be replenished and this will help in controlling your appetite for quite some time. With lower satiety level, you will consume less and thus lose weight faster.
If you skip sugar after a workout, you are likely to experience the following:
- Lower metabolism
- Fat build up in the adipose stores
- Loss of muscle mass
- Poor performance
- Weight gain
- A wide range of other complications such as diminished insulin sensitivity
Eating sugars immediately after your workout is very important and should never be ignored. Make sure that you choose healthy recipes that will not have negative effects on your body. According to many experts, glucose is the best sugar to take after a workout. Glucose is ideal for post workout because it is a simple sugar that is easy to digest. After exercise, all the sugar supplies in the body are depleted and that is why it is important to take something that is easy to digest. Some of the major sources of glucose that one can have after a workout include grains, grapes, honey, vegetables, bananas, milk and milk products, cereals and potatoes. It is also important to remember that glucose should be taken together with proteins such as lean beef, white meat, eggs, whey and soy proteins.