If you’re like most of us, you sweat heavily. If you do sweat, or you sweat only a little and your workouts last longer than 60 minutes, it may be better to replenish your electrolytes with a natural sports drink rather than plain water. Try Coconut water. Coconut water or other sports drinks not only keep you well hydrated, but they also provide electrolytes to replace those lost in your sweat (like sodium, which makes sweat salty; and potassium, which is reported to help regulate heart rhythm), as well as fuel to keep you going. If your workouts are less strenuous or shorter, plain filtered water is probably fine. The general rule of thumb is to drink at least 500mls of fluid two hours before exercise, another 500mls 15 minutes prior, and 250mls 15 minutes during. Post-exercise, aim for 500mls of water. Health professional say if you’re well hydrated your urine should be pale.
2. Eat within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise
After a tough workout, try to eat a recovery meal between 30 to 60 minutes.
Exercise puts stress on your body, particularly your muscles, joints, and bones. Your body uses up nutrients during workouts, so post-exercise foods are all about putting back what you’ve lost. Providing your body with the raw materials needed for repair and healing is essential. In fact, it’s the recovery from exercise that allows you to see results. Not recovering properly may leave you weaker as you go into your next workout, and up your injury risk.
3. Don’t overcompensate
If weight loss is one of your goals, it’s important not to overestimate how much extra food you “earned” working out. A one-hour elliptical session, an average woman, burns about 490 calories – the equivalent of a Big Mac. Remember you will still lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you exercise off.
4. Slow down the Champagne Sipping
Alcohol in moderation is fine. Only if you eat first after a workout, you start the recovery process, and that helps to slow down alcohol absorption. Alcohol has been shown to accelerate post-exercise muscle loss and the loss of muscle strength by as much as 39%. It may also interfere with replenishing glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrates you stock away in your muscles to serve as energy “piggy banks”. Less glycogen can translate into a lack of power or endurance during your next workout, so if you are going to drink, aim for moderation.