Experts tell us to eat and drink something after exercise, but why? Is it really that important to get nutrients in the body in the first 30 minutes following exercise? The short answer is, “Yes.” Many of the new sports nutrition guidelines are based on science and not just functional observations. We now have a wealth of useful information that can help our bodies recover from higher intensity or longer workouts.
Nutrients that are especially beneficial post-workout include carbohydrate, protein, water and sodium. Today, let’s focus on protein.
When it comes to types of protein, two big hitters to add to your post-workout nutrition plan are whey and casein (from milk protein concentrate). Both come from cow’s milk and are extremely beneficial after exercise. Whey protein is popular because it has all the essential amino acids and is a very good source of the branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine). For optimum effect, use both whey and casein together to enhance recovery, since whey digests quickly and casein digests more slowly to form a great relationship that keeps your muscles functioning at a higher level. Clif SHOT Recovery was crafted with these theories in mind, so it contains 10g of protein from whey and casein.
Drinking a source of carbohydrates, proteins (such as whey and casein) and sodium in the first 30 minutes following exercise is the best bet because your body is more efficient at using those nutrients to promote recovery at that time. If you combine proteins, the whey will begin the initial fast recovery while casein will continue your recovery long after your workout. Be sure to eat a balanced meal consisting of carbohydrate, protein and fat about 2-3 hours after your recovery snack or drink to ensure you’re filling up your nutrient tanks and replenishing muscle protein stores for the next 24 hours.
Generate the biggest bang for your nutritional buck by paying a bit more attention to the timing and types of protein in the post-workout window.
To learn more, visit www.clifbar.com
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Clif Bar & Company is a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks for people on-the-go. Focused on sports nutrition and snacks for adventure, the family and employee-owned company is committed to sustaining its people, brands, business, community and planet. For more information on Clif Bar & Company, please visit www.clifbar.com, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/clifbar and follow us on Twitter @clifbar.