Eight in 10 Fitness Enthusiasts Are Not Doing Enough

A national survey of fitness enthusiasts who exercise three or more times a week show a strong dedication to reaching fitness goals; however the vast majority – 82 percent— admitted to falling short when it comes to post-workout nutrition habits.  

The results of the survey from Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition uncover a gap between Americans’ knowledge surrounding post-workout nutrition and their 
desire to improve their fitness routines and results.

Exercise and nutrition work in tandem. Evidence shows that obtaining proper nutrition at the right time is critical in maximizing the benefits of training regimens, including performance and improving lean muscle tone and reducing body fat.

Yet, many fitness enthusiasts view post-workout nutrition as negatively impacting desired results.

  • >>36 percent don’t want to consume calories after a workout 
  • >>53 percent believe that eating protein after a workout will build undesired muscle 
  • >>50 percent believe consuming carbohydrates post workout could yield less optimal results

Other findings from the survey:

  • -Nearly one out of two indicated that muscle fatigue and overall body soreness prevents them from exercising more frequently
  • -Almost all respondents (98 percent) said they were looking to improve how they felt post-workout in some way, including wanting more energy (42 percent), and less muscle soreness and fatigue (52 percent).
  • -While 72 percent of fitness enthusiasts know that post-workout nutrition helps restore energy, only one in three recognized that it also helps to decrease muscle breakdown (32 percent)

The Exercise Paradox – Improve Recovery with Nutrition 
Endurance and strength training can put muscles in a state of breakdown; muscles are damaged and energy stores are depleted. When fitness enthusiasts don’t consume important nutrients in the right ratios at the right time, they can deplete their bodies, experience muscle fatigue and breakdown as well as compromise their ability to perform. 

Nutrition Misconceptions
“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 advisor.

“It comes down to reframing the way we think about nutrition and understanding that how you fuel your body after working out is as essential as exercise itself.”

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. 

“Many individuals believe that consuming calories, especially carbohydrates, after a workout are a bad thing,” said Carlson-Phillips. “In actuality, your body needs calories – especially carbohydrate and protein – to restore energy, build strength and improve lean body mass post workout.”