How and what to eat after working out to hit the spot?

To lose weight, don’t eat anything after working out? Or can you eat a big meal after working out to reward yourself? (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—To lose weight, don’t eat anything after working out? Or can you eat a big meal after working out to reward yourself? A dietitian said that it’s best to eat within 30 minutes after working out, recommending foods rich in protein and carbohydrate.

Many people think that only by eating nothing after exercise, can one lose weight. However, dietitian Yang Cheng-hua said that after exercise, blood will flow to the muscles that had just been worked out, and if no nutrients are replenished in the body to repair muscles damaged from the workout, the results are loss of muscle mass in the short run, and fatigue and loss of desire to work out in the long run.  

 As for those who think having a big meal after working out won’t make them gain weight, chances are they might have overestimated the intensity of their workout, Yang said. Even though taking in too many calories all of a sudden won’t make you feel tired, but it will pack on the pounds, he said.

It’s best to eat within 30 minutes after working out, and eating a combination of foods high in protein in carbohydrate is the best choice as they work together to stimulate insulin secretion to help recuperate the body, reduce loss of muscle mass and replenish glycogen in the muscles, instead of accumulating excess fat in the body, according to Yang.

High protein foods such as high-fiber soybean milk and tea egg and high carbohydrate foods such as banana, sweet potato and potato are good choices, Yang said. 

As for eating how much, he said different combinations are better suited for different intensity of workout. For example, the combination of one cup of high-fiber soybean milk and two bananas is good for high-intensity workout, and the combination of one cup of high-fiber soybean milk and one banana or one sweet potato is good for mid-intensity workout, according to Yang.