A common question we get from clients is about what they should eat after a workout. Eating the right foods after exercise can help you recover, build muscle, and prepare for your next workout!
When you work out, your muscles use their glycogen energy stores. Some of the muscle proteins also get damaged, especially during strength workouts.
Post exercise nutrition has two primary goals:
- Recharge your body’s depleted energy sources
- Maximize your fitness gains by providing the raw materials your body needs to increase strength and boost endurance
During the first half hour of exercise, the body is already processing nutrients to repair itself at a dramatically elevated rate. After two hours, this window is closed. Ideally you should aim to eat between 15 and 45 minutes post exercise.
WHAT TO EAT AFTER A WORKOUT
It’s recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) very soon after a workout (source)
People that take in a small amount of protein after exercise are less likely to overeat several hours later.
THIS LOOKS LIKE:
If you weigh 150lbs, you should try to consume between 22 and 35 grams of protein. If your workout is intense, go for the higher end.
Consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound (1.1–1.5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes post workout results in proper glycogen restoration. (source)
THIS LOOKS LIKE:
If you weigh 150lbs, you should try to get in 90g of carbs after your workout. To put it in perspective, 1 large banana is 35g of carbs.
(We’re talking heathy fats) Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients. While fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits. It may in fact make you feel fuller, longer, and limit the probability of overeating or snacking.
With all these recommendations, you also need to be honest with yourself about the intensity of your workout, how much time you spent between exercises, how much time was spent on your phone and chatting. Intensity matters!
Be cautious and mindful, if you’ve burned 300 calories, don’t refuel by taking in a 500 calorie dietary supplement!
And don’t forget to hydrate!