Muscle Recovery: A Complete Guide

by Jackie Wicks

Refueling Your Muscles After Exercise

Full plate meal with vegetablesNutrient timing is a critical piece to recovery and increasing muscle strength that often gets overlooked. After exercise, your body is primed to restore the lost protein and carbohydrate from the workout session. Planning meals to occur within an hour of finishing your workout is ideal, but if that can’t happen then eating a snack after working out is another option.

It’s easy to dismiss the important of this recovery
window, but consider the results of a 2006 in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. In this study, there were two groups, divided by when they consumed their workout supplements. In the first group, the subjects had their supplement in the morning and evening, not near when they exercised. In the second group, the subjects had their supplements right before and right after exercise.

After ten weeks, the second group had gained about 6 lbs. of muscle compared to the other groups 3 lbs. Even more impressive, though fat loss was not the subject of the study, the group eating before and after their workout had lowered their body fat percentage by 1% whereas the other group had no change whatsoever.

The only difference between the groups was when they ate–what they ate and how they exercised were the exact same. It makes a strong case for timing your meals close to exercise!

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