Kathryn Fielding / 13 Apr 2018
The post-exercise period is the most critical part of nutrient timing. You’ll do yourself (and your hard workout) an injustice by not replenishing your glycogen stores in time. Initiate the rebuilding of damaged muscle tissue and restoration of energy reserves by consuming protein and carbohydrates within a 60 - 90mins window after training.
High-quality protein dosed at 0.4–0.5 g/kg of LBM. For example, someone with 70 kg of LBM would consume roughly 28–35 G protein. The amount of carbohydrates consumed will be higher for those undertaking endurance exercises (i.e. long-distance runners and cyclists) and less so for those with strength goals.
Dehydration is a frequent problem in physically active individuals exercising at high volumes. Our thermoregulatory system moves blood from the core to the skin for passive heat loss and sweating for cooling the body during exertion. Exercise performance decreases as less blood is available for perfusion of active skeletal muscle. Blood flow to exercising muscles is significantly reduced with dehydration due to reductions in blood pressure and perfusion pressure. Dehydration negatively affects muscle performance by impeding thermal regulation.
To calculate your water loss, weigh yourself before and after a workout. The difference in weight will be the amount of water you’ve lost, indicating how much you’ll need to replace. Hydration salts are a good idea for those who exercise frequently in high temperatures and or for long durations.
Rest days are just as important as days spent working out. When we are really motivated, enjoying the physical and mental benefits of exercise, it can feel like we are on a roll and don’t want to take a day off. Surely mixing up cardio and strength on alternating days counts as ‘resting’, right? Wrong. Too much physiological stress can overload our bodies, increasing the risk of muscle strains, joint pain and eventually overtraining-syndrome which can lead to decreased performance, fatigue, altered hormonal status, disrupted sleep, decreased immunity and mood fluctuations. The ‘ideal amount’ of exercise varies person to person. As a general rule, you should have at least one rest day before working out a similar muscle group again.