The importance of exercise
Exercising regularly is extremely beneficial for the human body. It has several physical, hormonal, psychological, and cognitive benefits that are guaranteed to bring about change in everybody’s life. In fact, having a sedentary or a non-active life can be harmful to the body and significantly increase the risk of several cardiovascular and neoplastic medical conditions.
Living an active life has been proven to make a person physically healthier and it remarkably improves cognition and decision-making skills. Working out is also linked with a release of endorphins, which make people happy and calm. Moreover, exercising is also helpful in reducing weight, which can be quite a physiological and mental burden for people.
What is affected by exercise?
However, working out alone is not enough to acquire the reported benefits. It should be accompanied by proper care of the body and consuming the right foods to replenish all the things the human body loses during the workout.
Many people think that only calories and fat are lost during a workout but that is far from the truth. A good and effective workout is bound to result in five important depletions in the human body. Replenishing them and repairing them is of significant importance to achieve the desired results of the workout.
Counting for almost 70% of the total body weight, water is an important component of the human body. Also, water is extremely important for the proper functioning of the organs, hence its depletion can result in dehydration that may present as vomiting and diarrhea. During a workout, an average person loses between 0.8 liters to 0.14 liters of water.
Most people who work out regularly know that it can often be associated with soreness and mild discomfort the day after the workout. This is due to microscopic tears in the muscle fibers that occur during the workout. However, these tears are not big enough to cause a serious injury but they do need to be repaired to reduce the soreness.
Electrolytes are chemicals that are extremely important for the optimal functioning of the human body. They are responsible for forming ions of potassium, magnesium, and so on to maintain the body’s physiology.
During a workout, these electrolytes accumulate in the sweat glands, and when water passes through these glands and turns into sweat, it also takes these electrolytes along with it.
In fact, one and a half hour to three hours of workout can result in enough water loss through sweat to the point that it requires fluid replacement. Sweating is linked to electrolyte depletion and the intensity of the workout determines how much sweat loss and electrolyte depletion has occurred.
Minerals and Vitamins
Along with electrolytes and water, sweating during a workout also results in the loss of certain minerals and vitamins, which are very important for muscle strength, bone density, muscle flexibility, and organ health.
Weight loss is often the main aim of people when starting an exercise regimen or a workout plan. To ensure weight loss, calorie loss during a workout is necessary. An intense workout can guarantee just that.
How to replenish what is lost during a workout?
Working out can lead to depletion in the human body. If it is not properly restored, these depletions can result in severe damage to the human body, defeating the purpose of exercising.
You can replenish the water lost by drinking enough water before, during, and after the exercise, balancing out the water loss. According to Amanda Carlson, the director of the Performance Nutrition for Athletes’ Performance, “One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water. 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water. During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.”
Another way to ensure water loss has been replenished is to measure yourself before and after a workout. For every pound lost, 16 ounces to 20 ounces of water should be consumed to make up for the loss.
In addition to that, mentioned below are some of the best post-workout supplements and ingredients to replenish the proteins and minerals lost and to repair the microscopic muscle tears:
- Creatinine: This non-essential amino acid is very beneficial in stimulating muscle repair by increasing glycogen synthesis in the body.
- BCAAs and Glutamine: Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine, all of which are quite useful in reducing muscle soreness and fatigue, which are often experienced during workouts.
- Carbohydrates: Using the right carbohydrates as a supplement can result in a quicker healing time for muscle soreness and can even increase lean muscle mass. This is especially important for those whose workout aim is to gain muscles.
- Protein Powders: Most protein powders available on the market have two main ingredients: whey and casein, both of which can also be naturally found in milk. Just like carbohydrate supplements, these will improve muscle mass and reduce fatigue.
Read Also: Why Do Our Muscles Need Proteins to Grow?
A little protein powder blended with lean milk and some fruits can make a replenishing smoothie that will restore the vitamins and minerals lost during the workout while repairing muscle fibers.
Choosing the right supplements to replenish your body’s depletions is very important, but something else that is equally important is to stay away from certain ingredients in these supplements that make the whole point of using them redundant.
Things To Avoid in supplements
The three most important things to avoid in post-workout supplements are mentioned below:
- Artificial Sweeteners: Often manufacturers add sugar substitutes, like aspartame, to their supplements to give the fake idea of the supplement being healthier as it doesn’t have a ton of sugar in it. However, these artificial sweeteners are more likely to increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
- Artificial Flavors and Preservatives: Many manufacturers add these to improve the taste of the supplement and help it remain fresh for a longer period of time. But these artificial ingredients are extremely harmful to the human body. In fact, some of them are associated with an increased risk of cancer among many other medical conditions.
One must wisely choose their post-workout supplements since choosing the wrong kind can cause more harm than exercising can prevent.