What is the role of each macronutrient in post-exercise recovery?
As well as being a great source of energy to fuel the body for exercise, macronutrients also provide a great effect on the body post workout as they aid recovery.
Proteins are possibly the most commonly known aider of recovery after exercise. Every cell in the human body contains protein. It’s main role within the body is to repair cells and damaged tissue, this is why it is constantly being created and broke down in all areas of the body.
Proteins are stored in the muscles and organs, unlike fats and carbohydrates because it is a primary building and repairing component rather than energy. However, as previously mentioned it is a last resort energy source.
Ultimately protein binds together the muscles which are torn apart during a workout, effectively making them stronger.
It is vital to restore fats to a healthy limit after exercise as fats help the transportation of oxygen throughout the body, as well keeping the red blood cells healthy. After exercise as we know it’s essential to get a lot of oxygen throughout the body to help decrease lactic acid and allow the individual to respire again at a steady rate.
Fats also provide an enhancement of the immune system within the body. This doesn’t mean that by being overweight you shall never be ill or by being fit and healthy and having a low body fat percentage you will always be ill! There’s a whole range of fats within our bodies such as saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. It’s about getting the right mixture of these fats to make sure they help you out after exercise.
To get the best from carbohydrates post exercise it is vital to ensure you are eating unrefined carbohydrates. This is because they have a high level of dietary fibre, contain high levels of vitamins and mineral and contain a trace of amino acids. All of which are great post exercise because they help replace the lost nutrients in a large form from what is lost from the body while exercising.
Glycogen stores must also be replaced after exercising, if an individual doesn’t eat enough carbohydrates post exercise it could take up to 2 days to replace the stores naturally.