Be sure to consume food rich in protein after your workout. Protein repairs worn out muscles that were put to the test during your gym session. While plenty of people understand the importance of protein, most don't know that certain proteins are better than others when it comes to refueling the body. Amino acids are actually the building blocks of protein. Protein-rich foods contain 20 key amino acids, one of which is leucine.
Why Leucine Is Important
Leucine is necessary to repair your tired muscles after you put them to the max during an exercise session. Consuming foods with leucine after exercising is just as important as the workout itself. It performs a vital function in the synthesis of muscle protein. Muscle synthesis occurs when the body creates or re-establishes new proteins that are much stronger than old ones. Without leucine, your muscles might not completely repair themselves. So consume a snack with 20 plus grams of protein and 5 grams of leucine acid after your workout. This is exactly what your body needs in order to repair its muscles.
Studies have shown that those who consume a food with 5 grams of leucine and 23 grams of protein enjoyed one-third more muscle protein synthesis compared to those who followed up their workout with food containing merely carbohydrates and fat. It is also worth mentioning that those who consumed food with three times the amount of leucine and protein did not receive a similar benefit. Therefore, it is not prudent to load up on amino acids in hopes of repairing your muscles at a faster rate or to an even greater strength.
Foods To Eat
Thankfully, many foods with protein have leucine. Eat peanuts, chicken, oats, eggs, almonds, soybeans and salmon. Combine these foods with some carbohydrates for the ultimate post-workout meal. Pick out foods with complex carbohydrates like vegetables, grains and fruit. They'll stimulate muscle building pathways to help your body recover. Other food combinations that will help rebuild your body after exercising include salmon with broccoli and brown rice or a couple hard boiled eggs with whole grain toast.
If you'd like some one-on-one training and nutritional advice from a personal trainer, join the Downtown Athletic Club. Our personal trainers will educate you about exercise techniques, the human body and nutrition. Our facility also features a cycling studio, a basketball gym, multiple racquetball courts, massage therapy and much more.