Results from a national survey of fitness enthusiasts show a gap between American’s knowledge surrounding post-workout nutrition and their desire to improve their fitness routines and results.
The survey, which polled 1,000 exercisers, was conducted for Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition and showed that 82 percent of Americans admit to failing when it comes to post-workout nutrition habits.
According to the survey, for the purpose of the study, a fitness enthusiast was defined “as a person who exercises three or more times per week for 30 minutes of medium to high intensity activity.”
“Eight out of 10 people who use sports nutrition products consume them within 30 minutes of their work out. Doing so maximizes benefits by providing muscles with the right nutrients and energy at the right time,” the poll said.
″There are many misconceptions about how to optimize workout results, especially when it comes to post-workout nutrition,″ said Amanda Carlson-Phillips, MS, RD, CCSD, vice president of Nutrition and Research for Athletes’ Performance and EAS Academy board member and adviser.
According to Carlson-Phillips, sports nutrition products that contain appropriate amounts of carbohydrate to protein for the physical activity provides the optimal nutrition balance that bodies need post-workout for recovery and improved body composition.
The survey showed fitness enthusiasts viewed post-workout nutrition as having negatively impacting results.
About 36 percent of those polled cited not wanting to consume calories as the reason for not consuming post-workout nutrition.
“Don’t worry about undoing the calorie-burning benefits of your workout — that’s not how weight loss works. As long as you’re eating within your recommended calorie range (whether for weight loss or maintenance), you’ll be on your way to reaching your goals,” said Ashley Carpenter, registered dietitian for FirstHealth Center for Health and Fitness.
She said the ideal time to eat after a workout is within 45 minutes to nourish and repair muscles.
“Carbohydrates combined with a little protein (approximately 10 to 20 grams) creates a better muscle refueling and building response, and it reduces cortisol, a hormone that breaks down muscle,” Carpenter said.
Of the people polled, 98 percent said they were looking to improve how they felt after a workout; 42 percent said they wanted more energy and 52 percent said there was less muscle soreness and fatigue.
Although 72 percent of fitness enthusiasts know that past-workout nutrition helps restore energy, only 32 percent recognized that it also helps decrease muscle breakdown.
Carpenter said that some of the foods to eat after a workout are peanut butter sandwich, apple with cheese, dried fruit and nuts, yogurt with fruit, eggs and toast, cereal with milk or any regular meal that contains lean protein, starch, and vegetables.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.