When it comes to nutrition, it truly is a minefield out there. Whether it’s the latest superfood or an all-singing, all-dancing green juice that’s just hit the market, there are so many trends that come and go that it’s hard to keep up. For most of us, this makes eating well difficult at the best of times – let alone eating to supplement our workouts. But here at The Refinery, we don’t like to see your hard work go to waste, so we’re giving you a helping hand at how best to recover.
Your post-workout food is important. You’ve earned it, after all! But how you also treat your body is important too. Here are our top tips for refuelling your body and helping it to recover…
We’re constantly being told to drink more water – so we’re sorry for stating the obvious. However after a workout, it’s necessary to gulp it to replace fluids lost while you were sweating it out. Preferably it should be cool too, so your body can return to its normal temperature.
Don’t assume that after doing a low-impact class you don’t need to bother. Instead, opt for lukewarm water to keep your digestive system ticking.
Even being 1% dehydrated can reduce your metabolism, so drink up! Coconut water is a great option if you’re not a big fan of H2o.
After a workout is when your body is crying out for protein. There’s no need to go overboard, but having a protein-rich snack will help to repair tissue damaged during exercise. Good options include yoghurt, lean meat, fish and eggs.
You’ll also want to restore your glycogen levels (your body’s stored carbs) if you’ve had a particularly intense session, like HIIT training and cardio – so don’t fear carbs! Think oats, wholemeal bread or fruit.
After exercise (unless it’s yoga, of course), your muscles are shorter – but if you stretch, you can help to reset your body into its natural posture. Plus, if you don’t bother, you’ll have to deal with stiffness and sore muscles the next day. And who wants that?
Hold your stretches for 30 seconds each and you’ll reap the benefits. But if you’re feeling especially tight, head to a yoga class to help to recover and restore your body.
Over-exerting our bodies and being stressed never does us any good. You might hit the gym to prevent stress, and that’s great, but don’t overdo it. Rest up, meditate and relax if you need it. Give yourself a break. If you need a helping hand, try restorative yoga!