Eat to Recover

A study from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario shows that the fastest way to recover from a hard workout is to eat soon afterwards. Just exercising does not make you stronger, faster or more fit. You improve by exercising intensely which damages muscles, and then resting or exercising at a relaxed pace to allow muscles to heal and become stronger. Obviously, muscle healing and eventual strength gain requires rebuilding the damaged muscles with nutrients, such has carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in food.

This study shows that you heal faster and become stronger by eating immediately after you finish exercising and then again one hour later. If you want to run faster, throw further, lift heavier and jump higher, you should exercise at a very intense pace, eat lots of food soon after you finish, then exercise at a relaxed pace each day until the muscle soreness disappears. You are then ready to take another hard workout.

Roy BD et al. Medicine ansd Science in Sports and Exercise. 2000(August);32(8):1412-1418.

Checked 8/31/08

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