CHESTERFIELD, Mo., Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Carefully choosing what you eat after you work out can magnify the benefits of exercising. Your post-workout nutritional needs include fluids, carbohydrates and protein. This is true not just for the endurance athletes and serious bodybuilders but for the general exercise enthusiast also. Each provides distinct benefits:
Fluids restore fluids lost from sweating
Carbohydrates help restore glycogen, which provides fuel that muscles need for continued training
Protein provides amino acids to help rebuild muscle tissue
You can satisfy your post-workout nutritional needs by eating a meal or a snack, or you can choose a protein shake that also contains carbohydrates. The Mayo Clinic lists yogurt and fruit, cheese and crackers or a peanut butter sandwich as snacks that can meet your post-workout nutritional needs. But for those who don't want to eat after exercising, protein shakes are one of the best options for post-workout nutrition, said Dr. Carl W. Hastings, chief scientific officer of Reliv International, Inc. (NASDAQ: RELV) a maker of sports performance nutrition products and other types of nutritional supplements. "Everybody that exercises on a regular basis can benefit from protein shakes," Hastings said. "Protein shakes can help enhance athletic performance and endurance, and help the body recover and repair after exercising." Dozens of brands of protein shakes are available; they vary in the types and amount of protein and carbohydrate levels they contain. Milk, soy, whey and casein are some of the protein sources in shakes. Soy protein is as effective as other sources of protein according to WebMD. In addition, soy protein includes antioxidants that are beneficial to health but are not contained in some other protein sources. At Reliv, Hastings created ProVantage, a protein shake that includes 13 grams of soy protein in each serving. Soy protein increases muscle mass, reduces fatigue and burns fat for increased energy, Hastings said. ProVantage also contains antioxidants from soy and other ingredients that support the immune system and a blend of amino acids that reduce fatigue and shorten recovery time after working out.