One of the biggest concerns that sports medicine professionals have is helping athletes restore fluids to the body. This is because most athletes disperse large amounts of fluid through sweating and creates a huge void that must be filled. It is very important that you weight yourself before engaging in any athletic activity and then again immediately afterwards. While you may be excited initially about the weight loss, it is important to realize that you have only lost fluids, and those fluids must be replaced quickly.
To rehydrate your body thoroughly it is recommended that you drink as much as 24 ounces of water for each pound of weight that you lost. This will help you to quickly recover the fluids that your body is missing, while still keeping your stomach light enough to handle a brief rest before eating. It is important to notice as well that water is the best liquid to consume; it is not advisable to use sports drinks when you are consuming such a large amount of liquid.
After your exercise is over, it is also important to consume some form of carbohydrate within 20 minutes. The best carbohydrates to look into are some form of fruit, or even a natural juice whether it is fruit juice or vegetable juice is entirely up to your and your medical team. Additionally, sports medicine professionals recommend combining carbohydrates with proteins to really speed the energy stores back into the body.
The best guideline to use is giving the body 4 carbohydrates for each protein that is consumed. It has been determined that this is the formula that allows the body to recover in the shortest amount of time, while still keeping the intake light enough to not cause any stomach problems. Whether you look towards a solid food or even a special drink that combined proteins and carbohydrates together is entirely up to your and your medical team as well.
Remember, consuming additional calories immediately after a workout may seem conflicting however, it is very important that the energy stores of the body be replaced to ensure that you are not causing more harm than good to your body. Lack of energy even following an exercise program can be very harmful to the body if not quickly treated and can also increase the risks of injury, which make it even more harmful.
Talking to your medical team can help you determine the exact amount you should be eating both before and after working out to ensure maximum energy supplies and the shortest recharging time possible. If you are concerned that you are still weak or tired after a workout it may be time to consult with your doctor and increase the amount of carbohydrates that you are consuming. The same may hold true if you are experiencing muscle weakness or fatigue following a workout for your protein levels.
Never assume that the exact amount of carbohydrate and protein intake levels that work for one person are going to work for you. It is best to instead discuss with your doctor and coach the exact needs that you specifically have so that you can ensure you are creating the best overall health situation possible. Avoiding conversations with your doctor about your health and nutrition needs can be destructive. You need to know exactly what your body requires based upon your individual needs and workout patterns. Taking care of your own individual needs is part of why you have a team of sports medicine professionals all working together. Use them to your benefit for your post workout nutrition.