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Ask the Expert: Post-workout Fuel

Q: What should I be eating (if anything) after my workouts? 

 

Adam MartinA: Adam Martin, Fitness Director:   There are three important things that must be properly replenished after a moderate to intense bout of exercise.  The first, water, is essential to muscle contraction and overall performance.  Make sure to consume 8 ounces of water before exercise, at least 8 ounces for every hour during exercise and another 8 ounces after exercise.  Ideally, you should weigh a similar amount post-exercise as you did prior to the start. 

Secondly, carbohydrates are our bodies energy source.  They provide the needed fuel for subsequent bouts of exercise and physical activity. 

Finally, protein is used to rebuild and replenish damaged muscles fibers in the recovery phase post exercise.  So, what is the best source of water, protein and carbohydrates? Fat Free Chocolate Milk!  If you don’t believe me check out this article  that reviews evidence recently presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference.   In fact, fat free chocolate milk out performed numerous commercial sports drinks and post-exercise drinks that you would find at your local GNC.  However, if weight loss is your goal you must pay particular attention to calories.  Eight ounces of fat free milk chocolate milk could be up to 150 calories.

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