CHESTERFIELD, Mo.  (  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.

Nutritional studies have found that soy protein can lower total cholesterol levels and lower the “bad” cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This important benefit, while not necessary for post-workout nutritional needs, may lead some people to choose soy over other proteins for their shakes.

ProVantage, like other protein shakes made with soy or whey, contains carbohydrates as well. The combination of protein and carbohydrates enables the body to store more glycogen for your muscles, according to

The top priority for post-workout nutritional needs is replacing fluids lost during exercise in order to prevent dehydration, and water generally is considered the best way to replace fluids.

But some people prefer sports drinks. Intense workouts lasting an hour or more may require a sports drink for better hydration.

Isotonic sports drinks such as Reliv International’s Innergize can help maintain the body’s electrolyte balance and provide energy because they contain carbohydrates.

About Reliv International

Reliv International, Inc. is a direct selling company that develops, manufactures and markets nutritional products that promote optimal health. Independent distributors sell Reliv products in 15 countries. The company’s charitable foundation, the Reliv Kalogris Foundation, combats hunger around the world by providing free nutritional supplements to more than 42,000 people every day. Learn more about Reliv at

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