Remembering the 3 Rs might be the key to maximizing your post-workout results.
Katey Davidson is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. She gives sound health and wellness advice on TikTok. Davidson believes more people should follow the 3 Rs, especially when there’s so much misinformation about which foods are really nutritious for you.
“Refuel with carbohydrates. Rebuild with protein. Rehydrate with electrolytes,” Davidson says. “I don’t think most people are missing out on protein that’s been drilled in our heads on social media. We see it on TikTok, on Instagram. I find not a lot of people are getting enough carbs.”
1. Refuel with carbohydrates
Carbohydrates tend to get a bad rap in diet culture, but there’s a reason our bodies need them.
“It’s just simply because [we] vilified it in the fitness and health industry,” she explains. “During a workout, we use our muscle glycogen stores to support and fuel our workout. Then after the workout, we need to eat carbohydrates to replenish these glycogen stores.”
Davidson recommends having a meal or snack with carbs within 60 minutes of your workout.
“Ideally you want to focus on slow-digesting complex carbohydrates, ones that have adequate fiber as well,” she says.
Some great post-workout carb-rich options are oatmeal, any kind of potato, rice, beans, lentils and whole fruit.
2. Rebuild with protein
“During a workout, you’re stressing your muscles,” Davidson explains. “This creates micro-tears within the muscle. protein goes to work the muscle and helps to rebuild and strengthen the muscles. So that becomes bigger and stronger.”
Try to have some protein within two hours of your workout, but know that it’s not necessarily a requirement.
“As long as you’re getting enough protein for the entire day, it’s not particularly important of your protein timing,” she says.
When it comes to protein powders make sure you’re getting enough protein per scoop. Davidson suggests around 20 to 30 grams of protein per scoop.
“The best ones that I recommend would be either a weight Isolette or if you don’t want to have any animal-derived protein powder, you could off the pea protein powder,” she says.
But if weight loss is your goal be sure to get a protein powder that’s just protein and not a high-calorie meal replacement.
3. Rehydrate with electrolytes
“Water is important for delivering nutrients to cells, also moving waste products throughout the body,” Davidson states. “It’s also important for regulating blood pressure, as well as our body temperature.”
After a workout, it’s important to replenish the water you’ve lost.
“If you’re doing an exercise or a workout,” she explains.”That’s about less than 45 to 60 minutes, you’re probably just having a couple of cups, water, maybe a little water bottle.”
But if you’re working out in the heat or for longer than an hour, a sports beverage is best.
Remember, exercise and nutrition are about you and your joy
“So many people try to copy all the fitness influencers online,” she says. “They try to do all of their workouts in the exact same meals they do, and they’re miserable because it’s not designed for them and they end up not getting the results they are looking for.”
Davidson believes joy and how you feel should be behind your workout journey and nothing else.
“What I would focus on is finding exercise that you genuinely enjoy,” Davidson says. “Then obviously getting good sleep and your stress, all of these things come together and will help you get the results you’re looking for.”
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