Refuel. Repair. Recover. Take these three steps to get the most out of your workout
Whether you’re training for a 5-km run or a marathon, knowing when and how to refuel is essential. It can help prevent you from hitting the wall—that moment when your body feels like concrete, fatigue sets in and your mind begins telling you that you can’t go on.
The dreaded bonk, as runners call it, is when the body is depleted of glycogen, a complex carbohydrate structure that’s used to store energy in the liver and muscles, and your body begins using fats for energy.
Understanding when and how to fuel the body is a complex science and unique to each individual, but Wellness Matters’ expert and fitness coach Tommy Europe says that fuelling up before, during and after exercise is essential to get the most out of your performance.
“Proper hydration and taking essential amino acids, which are critical for muscle growth, are simple ways to refuel. Liquids tend to work best to stop your body from being depleted of the minerals you need,” says Europe.
Symptoms for knowing when to refuel include dry mouth, not going to the bathroom enough and starting to feel lethargic.
Europe adds that post-workout refuelling is also essential. “Refuelling will replenish your glycogen stores, improve your overall ability to store energy, reduce muscle soreness and fatigue and increase your body’s ability to repair muscles.”
Tommy’s healthy options for refuelling
- Bananas contain carbohydrates, which are a great source of energy and potassium, an essential mineral necessary for blood-sugar maintenance.
- Chocolate milk is great for rehydrating and contains electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and other minerals, which are all lost through sweat.
- Protein and consequently amino acids, is essential for healing wounds and repairing tissue.