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What to eat after exercise

by Marie Couture ND 18 Jul 2024
Quoi manger après une activité physique? - La Boite à Grains

Let's start by stressing that our lifestyle habits have a major influence on our physical and mental health. These same habits are behaviors we adopt on a daily basis to promote optimal health. They have physiological repercussions that extend right down to our cells and the structure that makes up our human body.

When we speak of lifestyle habits, we are of course referring to our diet, our daily hydration, the physical activity we engage in on a daily basis, our restorative sleep and the management of our daily stress..1, 2, 3

Exercise is essential for good health

Since our bodies are made to move, physical activity is essential for good health. You need to devote a minimum amount of time to it every day to feel the benefits. The more you exercise all your muscles, the more you'll feel the benefits.

There are many ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily life. At leisure, at work, at home, at school and even on the road. Find your own way to keep your body in shape. For example, cycling to work, stretching before gardening, a run during lunchtime, etc..1, 2, 3, 4

The benefits of physical activity

  • Improves cardiovascular capacity
  • Promotes better energy regulation
  • Balances the action of insulin and glycemia in the body
  • Strengthens bone density
  • Promotes hormonal balance

    An inseparable link between physical activity and diet

    Physical activity causes us to burn calories, which means we expend energy. To have the energy we need for physical activity, we must have sufficient energy intake. A good diet provides all the energy the body and muscles need for physical exercise and recovery.

    Of course, more active people have higher needs than sedentary ones. Moreover, a person's energy expenditure varies according to activity, age and sex..4, 5, 6, 7

    Diet and recovery

    After exercise, proper nutrition and hydration will contribute to optimal recovery, avoiding aches and pains, hypoglycemia and fatigue. This will help replenish the body's various reserves and prevent the risk of injury..4, 5, 6, 7

    Essential nutrients

    In terms of quality, macronutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) are essential for the proper functioning of our various energy metabolisms..7, 8, 9

    Protein is essential for recovery

    Nutrition plays a major role before, during and after a training session. Protein is essential for recovery. They are made up of amino acids essential to the human body. When you eat protein-containing foods after a workout, they help strengthen and/or repair the body's tissues.

    During training or physical activity, repetitive muscle contractions (jumping jacks, running, brisk walking, cycling, etc.) can damage the muscles in your arms, legs and body in general.

    Eating good sources of protein after moving helps your body repair micro-injuries, strengthen your muscles and prepare you for your next workout or physical activity..8, 9, 10

    What are your daily protein requirements?

    As a naturopath, I've often noted during nutritional assessments that proteins can be insufficient. According to the Apport Nutritionnel Conseillé (ANC), protein requirements for an adult are 0.83 grams per kilogram of body weight, which corresponds to between 50 and 60 grams of protein per day for an average individual weighing between 60 and 70 kilograms. Of course, this all depends on energy expenditure.10

    Natural Factors proteins

    Whey Factors whey protein

    If you have no intolerance to dairy products, Whey Factors is an undenatured concentrate of bovine milk. This whey protein contains a blend of enzymes (bromelain, fungal protease, papain, lipase, alpha amylase). It is a source of essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which make up a third of the muscles in the human body and play an important role in protein synthesis. 

    Whey Factors is a boon for exercisers. It helps build body tissue, promotes antibody production and contributes to muscle protein synthesis..9, 10, 11


    Protein and Green Food for a vegan choice

    Protein and Green Food is a blend of organic and fermented proteins. Protein sources include legumes, oilseeds and grain products such as pea protein, rice protein, quinoa, amaranth and hemp protein..11

    The benefits of Protéines et Aliments Verts :

    • Helps build and repair muscle
    • Supports lean muscle mass
    • Supports bone and tissue health
    • Is an alkaline PH protein
    • Digests well and does not cause bloating
    • 21 grams of protein per serving
    • Two flavors available: Tropical flavour, Unflavoured

    This vegetable protein is combined with fermented fruits and vegetables: alfalfa, barley sprouts, wheatgrass, apple, blueberry, cranberry, carrot, coriander, parsley, artichoke, black radish, dandelion, kale, celery, beet, spinach, tomato, broccoli, red radish, cabbage, winter cress, cauliflower, rocket, watercress, basil, pepper, Swiss chard, spearmint, organic West Indian cherry extract, organic cardamom, organic cinnamon..11

    Fruits and vegetables rich in benefits

    Fruits and vegetables provide essential elements: they are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. They also play a protective role, as they are bursting with phytonutrients, molecules with antioxidant properties that protect our body's cells from damage.

    The best-known of these are carotenoids, such as lutein, flavonoids, isoflavones, phytosterols and others. They're found in red, orange and yellow vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes and so on. They are also found in dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.12, 13

    To move well, you need to eat well! 

    About the author

    Marie Couture, Certified Naturopath

    Specialized in :

    • Digestive disorders
    •  Inflammation
    • Hormonal problems
    • Stress management

    References :

    1. Joyeux Pr. Henri, Joyeux Jean, Manger mieux et meilleur de 0 à 100 ans (in French only)éditions du Rocher, 2017, 326 pages
    1. Béliveau Richard Ph.D. Foods against cancerTrécarré, 2005, 213 pages
    1. Graci Sam, Crisafi Daniel-J N.D, M.H, Ph.D, Superfoods, A harvest of energy that can change your lifeChenelière/McGraw-Hill,1998, 282 pages

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