5 Common Post-workout Eating Mistakes To Avoid
The benefits of working out are uncountable, but to enjoy the full benefits, we need to avoid some post-workout eating mistakes because food contributes greatly to the result of working out. Here are some of the post workout mistakes to avoid.
YOU GO NUTS ON PROTEIN.
There’s a persistent myth that exercisers need to pound a lot of protein after a workout in order to maximize their gains. But as long as your daily diet includes adequate protein intake—we recommend 30 grams per meal—there’s no need to scarf your day’s worth of protein right after a workout, concludes a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
YOU DON’T PLAN
If you’ve busted your butt during your workout, you’re going to feel some serious hunger pangs. And that’s the worst time to decide what to eat. Our brains are wired to crave high-calorie, energy-rich foods when we’re hungry, suggests research from Cornell University. And those calorie cravings drive us to select unhealthy foods. The Cornell team found that hungry shoppers bought 46% more high-calorie items than their less-famished counterparts. The hungry shoppers also bought fewer healthy foods. You’re better off planning your post-workout snack or meal before you get your sweat on.
YOU DRINK ALCOHOL.
Knocking back a few glasses of wine after a workout may mess with your muscles’ ability to effectively recover and rebuild, shows a study in PLOS One. The good news: A single glass of wine or beer probably won’t cause issues, the study team says.
YOU’RE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER.
Runners underestimate the amount of water they sweat away by fully 50 percent, according to research from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Even a light workout—one where you don’t feel like you were sweating hard—can lead to mild dehydration. Weigh yourself before and after your workout, Cohen advises. For every pound of body weight you lose, you want to drink roughly that amount of water. (One pound equals 16 ounces.)
Many of us tell ourselves that, because we exercised, we can eat whatever we want. This mindset can even bleed into our non-workout days, says Jenna Braddock, R.D.N.
“I ran five miles two days ago, so it’s okay to go all out tonight at dinner,” she says, giving an example of the kind of unhelpful mindset she’s been guilty of herself. But most research shows what you eat matters a lot more than how much you exercise when it comes to your waistline. It’s fine to indulge a bit from time to time, but don’t let the fact that you got in a workout steer you toward a massive or unhealthy meal, Braddock says.