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We all know the story. You book a last-minute, lunchtime barre class—sandwiched in between meetings and phone calls—only to find yourself three hours later ravenously hungry and on a rampage to find food. It's called hanger, and it's the worst feeling ever. Not to mention it’s terrible for your body and your brain.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to put the right thing in your body post-workout. Not only does it keep you from flying off the handle at the office, but it's paramount for proper recovery, optimum brain function, and overall health. Here are my top reasons why you should always eat after each and every sweat session, no matter the activity level.
Whether it's a low-impact barre class or HIIT cardio circuit, you're breaking down muscles during a workout. This breakdown is actually micro tears in your muscles that need to be healed. Proper post-workout nutrition gives your body the building blocks to complete this healing and recovery. Specifically, your body needs protein to help with muscle recovery, electrolytes to help you rehydrate and metabolic fats for a quick source of energy. That's why we created Après—a clean ready-to-drink beverage featuring plant-based protein with MCT's and electrolytes. So now can give your body what it’s craving after class and on-the-go.
As important as post-workout nutrition is, the timing of consuming the nutrition is just as important. These micro tears are primed for nutrient absorption within 30 minutes of your workout, which is why you must feed them. Research shows that your body's ability to repair muscle decreases by 50 percent if you wait to eat just two hours post-workout compared to eating right away. Perhaps it's no surprise then that many experts say that your post-workout nutrition is even more important than the workout itself. At Après, we are particularly obsessed with taking advantage of this post-workout moment.
First off, you'll probably start to feel faint and exhausted. Part of this is linked to the degree of difficulty of your workout, but the other part is lack of proper nutrition. Short term, workouts deplete your glycogen stores, which leads to longer recovery times, less energy and negative effects on mood. Longer term, lack of proper post-workout nutrition means you aren't seeing the payoff for all your hard work! As we all know, this means less lean muscle and a slower metabolism.
Ideally, you're able to eat or drink 10-20 grams of protein post-workout—we prefer plants for their added vitamins and minerals—along with electrolytes and metabolic fats. To take full advantage of that golden 30-minute window, bring a snack with you to have on your way out of the studio—like an Après, of course!—or get your booty to the closest healthy cafe or kitchen.
In need of more real-girl health advice? Follow Darby on Instagram for all things nutrition, fitness, and wellness!
Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut.
Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes.
Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:
As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions.
On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.
In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.
In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest.
After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.
Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.
All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.
Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.
Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.