What Should I Take Post Workout?

If you’re reading this, you probably spend a lot of time working out. However, we guarantee you spend even more time not working out.

But hey, this isn’t a bad thing! Recovery is so important. Let’s say you spend seven hours a week working out, that still leaves 161 hours in the week to either undermine your hard work with poor rest and diet or make your workout as effective as it can be with some smart lifestyle choices.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the things you should take post workout, so that you have an easy place to start. So keep reading if you want to know what to take to make your workout the most effective it can be.

1. Water

All the water you lose through sweat during your workout needs to be replaced.

In one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water. And if there is not enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration.

Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Not only that, but in a dehydrated state the body is unable to cool itself efficiently which can lead to head exhaustion and possibly heat stroke. Also without an adequate supply of water, you may develop cramps.

To prevent dehydration, you should drink water before, during, and after each workout.

Here are some hydration hints from the American Council on Exercise (ACE):

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two hours before the start of exercise
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
  • Drink 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise

ACE also suggests consuming a drink with sodium like a sports drink or another beverage that contains electrolytes, as rehydration occurs faster in the presence of sodium.

We’d also like to mention that, contrary to popular belief, scientific evidence suggests that moderate caffeine intake does not compromise hydration. So, if you’re like us, you can have your much needed cup of coffee before the gym without worrying about it causing you to become dehydrated during your workout!

2. Protein

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that consuming protein after a workout is important. But you may not know just how important it is to consume protein soon after exercising.

After intense exercise, your muscles are depleted of their stored forms of energy. These stored forms of energy are carbohydrates and glycogen, and they fuel all those muscular contractions that allow you to sprint, lift, and jump at the gym. So, as soon as you finish exercising, your muscles are ripe to absorb nutrients to jump-start the repair process, which is crucial if you want to get toned muscles.

So whether your goal is to work out to look good or to feel good, consuming protein soon after you complete your workout is important. It’s recommended that you consume something high in protein between 30 to 60 minutes after your workout for optimal results.

Some foods high in protein are eggs, chicken, oats, greek yogurt, lean beef, tuna, and fish. Protein powder and protein bars are also easy, convenient ways to get your protein in.

3. L-Glutamine Supplements

If you’ve been lifting heavy weights in the gym with the goal of building a booty, you should consider taking an L-glutamine supplement after your workout.

It’s an amino acid and a building block your body needs to make protein and, therefore, build muscle.

L-glutamine is also responsible for strong immune support and intestinal health. Although it occurs naturally within the proteins in your body, without additional supplementation, the body doesn’t reap the maximum benefits L-glutamine is capable of delivering. That’s where a supplement like Dr. Emil’s Women's Post Workout Recovery Capsule comes in.

A bottle of Dr. Emil's Women's Post Workout Recovery Capsule.
Dr. Emil’s Women's Post Workout Recovery Capsule is created with L-glutamine and Sustamine to actively increase metabolic rate and muscle recovery.

This post workout recovery formula is created with L-glutamine and Sustamine to actively increase metabolic rate and muscle recovery.

Research shows Sustamine helps improve the supplement absorption by 200%, giving users more efficient results.

The formula also contains the active ingredients resveratrol and turmeric extract which assist in lowering cholesterol and delivering large amounts of antioxidants to the body.

As one of the most important parts of a healthy recovery is a good night’s rest. Dr. Emil’s recovery capsules are made with Ashwagandha to help increase mood, promote stress relief, and provide sleep support so you recover fully and effectively each night.

Created with high quality ingredients and packed into a two-capsule serving, your post-workout recovery is easier than ever with Dr. Emil’s Women's Post Workout Recovery Capsule.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is used for protein synthesis and energy production in the body. In other words, it’s needed to effectively exercise and build muscle.

Plated salmon sashimi with fish eggs and slices of lemon.
Eating wild-caught salmon, a food in rich magnesium, after your workout can replenish your body of the magnesium it lost during your workout and promote protein synthesis and energy production.

But we tend to lose magnesium as we sweat during a workout. In order to replenish your body with magnesium after a workout, you should eat magnesium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, cow’s milk, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, fish (we’re talking wild-caught salmon and halibut), and avocado.

According to clinical nutritionist and chef Lee Holmes, if you experience painful muscle cramps, this could be a sign that your magnesium levels are too low. She says, “[A] lack of magnesium can cause muscle spasms, however, when taken after exercise, it can help to calm your muscles down.” You can eat something rich in magnesium after your workout in order to calm your muscles, but Holmes also recommends taking an Epsom salt bath because it is high in magnesium and can help in the same way as a magnesium-rich food or an oral supplement.

When recovering from a workout, you can either reduce the effectiveness of your workout by not resting or eating properly, or you can make your workout as productive as possible by hydrating, consuming protein-rich and magnesium-rich foods, and taking an L-glutamine supplement. The latter requires more effort, but it will also reap more rewards.

@dremilnutrition