What to Eat After You Exercise



Whether you ran 26.2 miles yesterday in the New York City marathon, went to the gym this morning for a spin class, or took a nice brisk walk around your neighborhood, it’s important to know that what and when you eat after a workout can have a huge effect on how you recover and how you feel the next time you hit the gym or the pavement. Learn how to refuel the right way the next time you hit the gym or the pavement. 

There are a few majorly important aspects to post-exercise refueling including getting the right type of nutrients and at the right time.

Important Macronutrients to Eat Post-Exercise
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates acts as instant fuel for muscles. When you exercise your muscles use free carbohydrates found in the blood as well as stored carbohydrates in the muscle tissue (called glycogen). After a hard or long workout, these stores can be depleted, so it’s key that you give your body a good source of carbohydrates to help promote replenishing the energy in the muscle. When it comes to replenishing muscle stores of carbohydrates it’s important to consider quickly-digesting carbohydrates that are lower in fiber like low fiber fruit- banana and mango, or even juices – as most (not all) of the fiber is removed.

Protein: Protein is also key to your post-exercise routine. Protein helps to repair muscle damage (which occurs naturally) that is done during a workout. The level of muscle damage depends on the type of exercise you’re doing; for example, a heavy weight session will cause more muscle damage than a longer bout of cardiovascular exercise — therefore, a smaller amount of protein paired with a higher carbohydrate load better suits a long run or bicycle ride.

When refueling with protein, it’s important to choose a complete source of protein as it can better enhance muscle repair and regrowth. For example, pea, sprouted rice or non-GMO whey are great sources of complete protein. Other examples of complete protein include greek yogurt or a 3 oz serving of wild caught/organic animal protein. For most people, a serving of about 25 grams of protein should suffice; it’s key to remember that some protein supplements may contain much more protein than your body can absorb (30+ grams) at once and may also cause gastrointestinal distress.

Electrolytes: Electrolytes are key for hydration, however people often over-consume water and under-consume electrolytes like sodium and potassium that are lost through sweat. The easiest way to keep up with electrolyte needs during a (long ) workout is to replenish electrolytes while exercising. It’s key to choose beverages that include both sodium and potassium such as coconut water with a pinch of salt added – coconut water is high in potassium and relatively low in sodium. Other options include water with some fresh beet/celery juice mixed in as beets are high in potassium and also contain some sodium and celery also contains some natural sodium; for the long-distance athlete, they may need to also add salt to this type of beverage or even consider an electrolyte-rich beverage designed for distance athletes.

Caffeine: The verdict is still out on this one, but some research is suggesting that caffeine may help with carbohydrate absorption after a long exercise bout; however, if you’re choosing to have a cup of coffee or tea try to limit it to one serving as over-consumption of caffeine can contribute to dehydration.

What to Eat Post-Exercise?
A more complex meal is appropriate here; one that includes both carbohydrates and protein.

When to Eat?
Eat as quickly as possible after workout. Optimal nutrient timing is within 30-60 minutes post exercise as the muscles are more likely to use the fuel more efficiently. If you’re afraid you won’t get home in that time to have something to eat, be prepared and bring something simple like a banana and a serving of coconut water with you when you go. If you’re exercising for 60+ minutes or taking a long run or bike ride you may want to consider  another source of quickly-digestible carbohydrates either while you exercise or immediately following to replenish muscle glycogen; focus on getting protein in as soon as possible too.

Natural Fuel for Your Fitness Routine



Exercise and nutrition are two of my favorite topics to discuss, especially when talking about their importance to one another. Yes that’s right, nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. While most of us know that, there’s a lot of information and sports nutrition products out there geared towards consumers that can cause confusion on what we really need and when. Let’s break it down:

What You Need
Most of us only need a bit of extra water in our day when we’re active. Many of us gym-goers (think 30-45 minute on an elliptical or a light to moderate gym class) pick up fancy sports drinks and bars to refuel exercise bouts that aren’t really worthy of a refuel. Unless we’re doing 45-60 + minutes of high intensity exercise, or 60+ minutes of endurance exercise, you should stick to water.

For those of us who need to refuel:
For those of us doing 45-60+ minutes of high intensity exercise or 60+ minutes of endurance exercise like running or biking, it may be beneficial and even necessary for you to think about how you’re fueling your body for this workout.

Three Ways to Fuel Naturally:
1.) Pre-workout you should think about keeping it simple. Anything your body can break down quickly will give it extra energy if consumed within 30-60 minutes of exercise; anything that’s too heavy may cause cramping and discomfort. Some of us can get away with eating more than others, but the most important rule of thumb is to pick something that’s low in fat, fiber and protein. What’s that mean? Think banana, raisins or other dried fruit, an electrolyte-rich beverage like coconut water or a diluted juice.

2.) Post-workout you should aim to pick something that has both carbohydrates and protein; as muscle stores of carbohydrates need to be replenished and protein will help to repair small muscle tears and will aid with restoration. Making a protein-rich smoothie, drinking a leafy green vegetable juice (dark green vegetables tend to be higher in protein than others) with or without extra plant-based protein, or even sitting down to a meal that contains protein are all good options for post workout. Your best window to consume a protein/carbohydrate-rich snack or meal post-exercise is within ~60 minutes post exercise, but if you have trouble getting something in within 60 minutes, the most important thing to remember is simply getting something in.

3.) During exercise some of us will need to make sure we’re refueling while exercising; if exercising for 60-90+ minutes or training for endurance-type races or activities. Similar to pre-workout, eating while exercising should be reserved for something extremely easy to digest (as most of the blood flow is in your muscles) like coconut water or an electrolyte-rich beverage, raisins (instead of sports chews as recent research suggests they may be just as good- and way better for you!), and/or a banana. Most of us will not need to refuel while exercising, but it’s important that you’re aware of your needs.

Dangers of not fueling/refueling properly…

If we’re not careful to make sure were fueling and refueling properly based on our exercise bout and our body’s needs, we can run into dangerous conditions like dehydration, “bonking” as many runners and distance athletes will call it- when your muscles simply run out of fuel, and poor energy. If we’re chronically exercising more than were eating, our bodies may use our muscles as fuel, which is disadvantageous to strength and endurance.

The take home message…

It’s important to make sure you’re adding 16-20 oz of extra fluid into your day when you’re active — that includes walking, gardening, short jogs, light to moderate exercise. If you’re participating in exercise in heat (like hot yoga) you may want to consider adding an extra 12-16 oz portion of an electrolyte-rich beverage like coconut water regardless of the amount of time you’ll be exercising, because sweating is drastically increased and important electrolytes may be lost.

Make sure you listen to your body and give it what it needs, if you’re feeling like your muscles are heavy and sluggish from yesterdays workout you may not have given your body enough time/fuel to recover and you should add extra electrolytes.

Need a new workout routine? Make sure you check out the Reboot Movement Method.

Everything You Need to Know about Electrolytes



Consuming enough electrolytes is an important part of any Reboot plan but I often get asked where can I get them? So here’s a break down of everything you need to know about electrolytes, where they come from, when to consume them, and our favorite juices to keep you full of them!


What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are important nutrients for our bodies as they play key roles in sending electrical impulses that influence our heart, muscles and nerves. They also play an important role in fluid balance and hydration in our cells, tissues, and our muscles. Lack of sufficient electrolytes can contribute to muscle cramps, delayed muscle soreness and spasms following exercise and for some can contribute to headaches. 

Where are electrolytes found?
Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. Most often, electrolytes can be found in foods but they can also be found in beverages such as coconut water and juices made from electrolyte-rich fruits and vegetables. Electrolytes cannot be consumed by drinking water as water lacks these important electrolytes. 

What foods contain electrolytes?
Foods that are naturally higher in electrolytes include all plant-based foods, but particularly fruits and vegetables, and primarily those that are red, orange, and/or yellow. These fruits and vegetables not only contain a rich-source of potassium but are also good source of magnesium. Nuts, seeds, and beans are also a good source of magnesium and calcium, but are not rich sources of potassium and sodium. Green leafy vegetables can also be a good source of calcium and potassium.

Good sources of potassium:
-  Beans: white beans
-  Green leafy vegetables: spinach, chard, kale
-  Potatoes
-  Bananas
-  Dried apricots
-  Squash: acorn, butternut, zucchini
-  Avocados
-  Red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables: bananas, beets, oranges, bell peppers (slightly lower in potassium)
-  Coconut water 

Good sources of natural sodium:
- Celery
-  Beets
-  Bok choy
-  Bell peppers (red, yellow, orange) 

Good sources of magnesium/calcium:
- Beans
- Nuts & seeds (magnesium mainly)
- Almond & cashew nuts (highest)
- Sunflower & sesame seeds (highest)
- Green leafy vegetables (calcium)Wheat-based grains (magnesium) 

Electrolytes Post-Exercise:
When you sweat, you primarily lose potassium and sodium, therefore to replenish the electrolytes lost, you can make a juice made from red, yellow, and orange produce (for natural sodium) with some green leafy vegetables (for potassium) to help replenish. Coconut water is also a great source of both potassium and sodium and is lower in calories. For the most part, coconut water is also higher than most juices in electrolytes, and therefore can make for a great way to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. Be sure to look around your local grocery store for a brand that you enjoy drinking- all coconut waters have their own unique and distinct taste. 

Pre or Post-Exercise?
If you are participating in a high intensity exercise regimen, it’s important to prepare your body with electrolytes prior to exercising. For most, it may be more beneficial to drink 16-20 oz of an electrolyte-rich beverage such as coconut water or electrolyte-rich juice, prior to exercising instead of waiting until after the exercise bout. Pre-exercise, your body is more likely to benefit from a higher electrolyte beverage as you provide your body with sufficient electrolytes before losing them through sweat. Post-exercise, the focus should be more on a protein-rich beverage to repair muscle damage due to the exercise bout.

What about water?
Though water does not contain a good source of electrolytes, it still plays an important role in hydration and should not be forgotten. If you are not exercising, generally ~64oz per day will suffice, however if you are exercising you should bump that amount up to 80 oz of fluid daily. Coconut water and other electrolyte-rich beverages do count toward your total daily fluid intake, but your main focus should be on water, with ~16-20 oz coming from an electrolyte-rich source.

Check out some of our juice recipes that are rich in electrolytes:
Ciao Bella
Cantaloupe Carrot Cocktail
Lucky Leprechaun
New Beginnings
Heartbreak Hill
Workout to the Beet

Avocado & Chia Seed Shake

Avocado & Chia Seed Shake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 16 - 18 oz. (500 mls)

Ingredients



If drinking the same juice over and over again is getting boring, try switching it up by adding even more nutrients to your glass. This morning I was in the mood for a filling breakfast. I had a leftover juice in the fridge from making a large batch yesterday so I decided to add in my favorite produce of all time, avocado, and one of my favorite superfoods, chia seeds!

The combination produced a rich, creamy shake that was filled with heaps of nutrients from my green juice, tons of healthy fats, protein and fiber. I had just finished running over the Brooklyn Bridge so it was the perfect drink to refuel my muscles.

The next time you have a leftover green juice in the fridge, try adding these to it for a full, well-balanced meal.

Ingredients:
16 oz. (500 ml.) leftover green juice — I used the Morning Green Glory 
1/4 avocado
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 ice cubes
splash of almond milk (optional)

Directions:
Add all ingredients to high-powered blender and blend on high for 45 – 60 seconds, until smooth. 

How I Eventually Ignored the Voices of Juicing Naysayers and Finished on Top



September 14th, 2013 is a day I will never forget!

It was a day when I looked juicing naysayers in the eyes and proved them wrong.

Let me take you back in time, to Stockholm, Sweden mid 2008.  Recently promoted to a senior manager role, I was feeling the strain of executive stress for the first time in my life. I knew I was obese and that to manage 50 people, 5 countries, 5 currencies and millions of dollars in turnover, I had to be in the best of health.  The hours were long and the stress intense.I knew my energy levels were rock bottom at a time when I needed to be supercharged.  That was when I read about juicing for the first time. I had tried several diets in the past with minimal success and the yo-yo dieting led to my weight ballooning.

Even though I had no science background, juicing fruits and vegetables just made sense to me. I quickly ordered a juicer from the UK as they were scarce in Sweden. I then bought all the produce and excitedly got started. Around this time, on the other side of the planet Joe Cross was filming Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead so it had not hit our screens yet. Juicing was still the domain of health nuts and hippies. I was determined to make a go of it, I knew I needed to drastically improve my health if I was to achieve my career goals.

My staff gasped as I walked around the office drinking this ‘green stuff’ instead of dinner. They were intrigued at first and soon that curiosity turned into horror and dismay. Panic set in as they told me I was crazy and juice fasting was very dangerous. Not to be outdone some of my Swedish friends chimed in with warnings such as ‘your teeth will fall out’ or ‘you will damage your liver.’ Worryingly one friend who does have a scientific background said ‘you will get kidney stones!’.

That struck the fear of God into me. I have endured kidney stone attacks in the past and if you are unlucky enough to have suffered from that excruciating agony you will understand my reluctance to continue juicing.

The juicer was soon hidden away in the depths of a kitchen cupboard. I threw out the produce and supplements and there ended my first juice cleanse just 3 days in. I had no positive frame of reference to call upon. No Joe, no Phil, none of the Reboot Success Stories.

It took me 18 months before I heard the whirring of my juicer again. It was January 2010 and I had decided to give it another go. Nothing else had worked in that last 18 months and there was something about juicing fruits and veggies that called me back. So I dusted off the juicer and looked up recipes and tried again. Friends soon told me that this was madness and a fad but I was not to be dissuaded. I knew I had to make serious changes if I was to drop the excess weight and find more energy.

It was at that time that I also started running! Slowly – it was a run/walk program. Exercising felt natural to me, I mean along with juicing. It was freezing cold, snow on the ground but I was determined to prove the naysayers wrong.

That was January 2010, three and a half years later, I returned triumphantly to Sweden. Almost half the man I used to be..in terms of weight. I had dropped 80 pounds and 10 inches from my waist. We sometimes get fixated on the actual weight loss and forget that juicing has other benefits. Since that 7 day Reboot and those first few steps of running, I was promoted twice to very senior positions.

I always dreamed of living and working in the USA but the chances of attaining a visa let alone a green card were next to zero. Yet through working hard at the day job my employer offered me a move to California and I was promoted twice within 6 months to head up our company in 13 states and Canada. Within months I was awarded a green card, something I never take for granted.

This was no coincidence, Rebooting, eating a clean diet and moderate exercise had given my energy levels a massive boost. I did not need as much sleep, did not spend the weekend sleeping off the fatigue from the previous week and I was at work early every day and ready for all the challenges.

At the start line I looked around at the Swedish Royal Palace and remembered how my life was prior to Rebooting. This was my celebration and I was determined to achieve my first sub 2 hour half marathon. I saw several former co-workers and friends in the crowd as I snaked my way around the 13.1 mile course. Words cannot express how I felt. Emotional and with a tear in my eye I smashed my goal and completed the half marathon in 1 hour 57 minutes. Much faster than I had planned and anticipated. When I first started to run in Stockholm I could not run for one minute without stopping.

It was important not to rub my friends’ noses in it. They were wrong but I cannot blame them for the way they reacted to my 2008 Reboot. Thankfully we have Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead that gives us that confidence and belief that juicing works. I hope my story adds a little to the work Joe has done and helps inspire you to start juicing, sustain juicing or renew your interest in a Reboot. Each week I host a juicing podcast at www.juicingradio.com where you can hear more about my journey and juicing tips.

Read Shane’s full story of transformation and more articles from Shane here.

In the Reboot Kitchen: Raz Avocado Smoothie

In the Reboot Kitchen: Raz Avocado Smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 16 - 18 oz. (500 mls)

Ingredients



I love fresh and easy smoothies because you can pack many nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables into them for a great refreshing snack or meal. This smoothie packs in heart-healthy avocado and arugula with savory summer berries. The summer berries are packed with antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. This smoothie can be used for a post-workout recovery smoothie by adding 1 scoop of all natural hemp or pea protein. The added protein helps with muscle recovery and repair after a hard workout. 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup raspberries fresh or frozen
1/2 cup strawberries fresh or frozen
1/2 avocado
1 handful arugula (rocket)
1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 scoop unflavored pea or hemp protein, optional

Directions:
1.) Wash all produce.

2.) Combine ingredients in blender.

3.) Blend until smooth, about 60 – 90 seconds.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

In the Reboot Kitchen: Berries & Beet Smoothie

In the Reboot Kitchen: Berries & Beet Detox Smoothie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 16 - 18 oz. (500 mls)

Ingredients



Get excited because this smoothie will certainly give you a blast of antioxidants and phytonutrients. I was on the road returning home from a trip up north and I always like to have a break at a particular petrol stop that has a healthy food and beverage café where everything is always fresh. I enjoyed a delicious red smoothie and wanted to make it at home, so here is my version! This is very high in anthocyanidins and other important polyphenols which have vital functions for the supportive role of connective tissue regeneration — this is important for skin health and anti-aging. ENJOY!

Ingredients:
1 cup/250 ml of coconut water
1/2 cup/100 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup cherries/100 g (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup strawberries/110 g (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp. goji berries
1/2 – 1 small beet (beetroot)
1/2 small carrot
Ice (optional)

Directions:
1.) Remove seeds from the cherries.

2.) Place all ingredients in blender.

3.) Blend on high for about 45 – 60 seconds until smooth then pour over ice.

Substitutions:
Coconut water – water or ice
Raspberries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
Strawberries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
Cherries – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
Goji berries – cranberries
Beets – carrot, golden beets
Carrot – sweet potato, winter squash

Note: You can scrape out some coconut meat and add it to your smoothie if you use a fresh coconut!

Smart Sweet: Chocolate Almond Butter Milkshake

Smart Sweet: Chocolate Almond Butter Milkshake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 16 oz. (500 mls)

Ingredients



My favorite combination when it comes to something sweet and something salty is chocolate and peanut butter, or any kind of nut butter! You’ve seen me share my love for it in our Mini Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge, Almond Butter Kiss Cookies and now a Chocolate Almond Butter Milkshake! It’s decadent, so easy to make, and the best part is that it tastes just like the chocolate and peanut butter smoothies I used to order when I would go out for ice cream with my Dad. And better yet, the cacao powder adds heaps of antioxidants and the almond butter provides healthy protein, making this perfect for after a workout on a warm summer day, or of course as a dessert or meal replacement on any day!

Ingredients:
1 cup homemade almond milk (or store bought)
1 frozen banana
1 heaping Tbsp. cacao powder
1 – 2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 date, pitted
Dash of Himalayan Sea Salt
3 ice cubes

Directions:
Blend all ingredients on high until smooth, about 45 – 60 seconds.

Mixed Berry Maca Protein Shake

Mixed Berry Maca Protein Shake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 16 oz. (500 mls)

Ingredients



With Father’s Day on Sunday, why don’t you serve him something that will keep him healthy, strong and happy on his big day? The plant based protein in this smoothie is easily absorbed by the body while the berries provide high quality antioxidants. The coconut oil is great for cardiovascular health and adds a quality fat to an early morning smoothie. Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and omega 3 fats while the maca powder helps balance hormones and is great for prostate health.

Ingredients:
Large handful of mixed frozen or fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
1/2 banana
1 cup/250 ml hemp milk or almond milk
1 scoop vanilla plant based protein powder (Sunwarrior is a great brand!)*
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 teaspoon chia seeds

*Note: If you don’t have protein powder, you can use two heaping Tbsp. of hemp seeds and add a dash of vanilla.

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend for 45 – 60 seconds.