Your eating habits before and after you workout have a huge impact on the result of your workout.
Fitness guru Ronald Abvajee, in his own words, weighs in on some of the most common post-workout eating mistakes that could be hindering progress:
Neglecting to eat
Eating after you exercise sounds a bit backwards. But getting the proper foods can give you the right amount of energy and fuel your body needs. If you go too long without eating, your body may start to eat away at your muscle tissue which can take away from your tone and definition. Make sure to eat the right amount of fruits, vegetables, and protein and stay away from as many bad carbs (choose whole grains) and unhealthy fatty foods as possible.
Eating too much protein
Protein is a great recovery nutrient that helps rebuild muscle torn during a workout, but your body can only use so much. As long as your daily nutrition plan includes adequate protein intake there’s no need to eat a lot of protein right after a workout. Balance your protein intake with complex carbs. Whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables provide the steady energy your system craves while helping protein to do its job of repairing muscle.
Waiting too long to eat after your workout
Your energy-depleted body is desperate for calories. Get the right food (protein healthy carbs and essential fats) at the right portion size (don’t supersize the servings) into your system within 30 minutes of your workout, to keep blood-sugar levels steady and ward off fatigue and hunger.
Not drinking enough water
Regular water consumption is the best way to hydrate. After your workout you would have sweated and lost a lot of fluid. Drink water immediately after your workout – rather than drinks high in calories, sugar or caffeine.
Eating high-sugar foods
After an intense workout you will feel fatigued, but to rely on coffee or a high sugar food is not the way to go as this will raise your blood sugar quickly and drop just as quickly. You will be fueling your body with extremely high calories, and in the process undoing all the effort you put into your workout.
Consuming an alcoholic drink after your workout
Alcohol is dehydrating, so its not ideal after your workout. You would have sweated during your workout and your body craves hydration, and this should come from water not alcohol. Also, alcohol prevents muscles from synthesizing protein after a workout—keeping them from repairing torn muscle fibers.