Post Workout Nutrition: What To Feed Your Body Post Workout

2 min read

Ananya Bhattacharjee
Writer. Musician. Mother. Reading, music and travelling are all time favourites. Been into ‘writing’ from the last 10 years and have become an everlasting love since I started.

If you are working out and gymming, you are putting in effort for your body- the attempt to tone your body and to give it the regular dose of exercise to be fit and healthy. But, then, you drain and destroy the effort by indulging in cravings and a heavy meal after a workout! This is indeed not working right for your body. Your efforts in the exercise just got ruined!

As such, to make sure you eat the right foods essential for your body after a workout, we have brought the crucial nutritious food list and the proportions or servings to eat. Have a look!

Eating after a Workout Is Equally Essential

It is necessary to understand your body before you select the right food for a post-workout meal. When a person works out, the exercise causes the muscles to stretch, and tone and they use glycogen for fuel. It leads to a partial depletion of glycogen, which can be filled up with food nutrients. Eating the right foods after an exercise can help the body to rebuild the glycogen faster.

A person needs to eat carbs and protein after a workout. This will lead to several benefits:

  • Decreases muscle’s protein breakdown capacity.
  • It enhances a faster growth of muscle protein.
  • Restore the glycogen in muscles.
  • It enhances the recovery of the body.
  • Protein Helps Repair and Build Muscle

Consuming the right amount of protein after an exercise provides amino acids to the body, which is essential for protein repair and rebuild. It also is the building block that is required to form new muscle tissue.

Carbs enhance Recovery

Endurance sports leads to a faster glycogen burnout in comparison to resistance training. As such, a person participating in endurance games must consume more carbs than others. Also, insulin secretion, which enhances the growth of glycogen, is better enthused when both carbohydrates and proteins are consumed together. For people who often exercise, eating a significant amount of glucose is necessary. If the person takes the rest of around 2-3 days in between workout day, then an adequate amount is right.

Fat isn’t Bad

Many people are of the view that the intake of fat after a workout would slow down the digestion process and restricts nutrient absorption. This is, however, not entirely true. Though the fat slows down the digestion process, it doesn’t reduce the nutritional benefits. As such, the person should take a low intake of fat in the post-workout nutritious meal.

When to have the Post-Workout Meal

The body’s ability to restore glycogen and protein increases after an exercise. As such, it is recommended that a person consumes carbohydrates and proteins after a workout. It is advisable to have a meal 45 minutes post a workout. The delay in the intake of carbohydrates for more than two hours after a workout would lower the rate of glycogen production in the body.

What to Eat After a Workout

A post-workout meal should supply the body with the right nutrients and supplements required for a better recovery and enhance the benefits of the workout. A post-workout meal should consist of the following foods and nutritious meals:

Carbohydrates

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate milk
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits like pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables

Protein-based foods:

  • Animal or plant-based protein powder
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar
  • Tuna

Fatty foods:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butter
  • Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)

Drink Plenty of Water

A person must drink plenty of water before and after a workout. Only a properly hydrated body would ensure a healthy body to utilize the maximum benefits of an exercise. During an exercise, the body loses water through sweat, and it is necessary to replenish the loss by staying hydrated. One can take water, energy drink as well as an electrolyte drink for hydration.

A healthy workout meal is essential for the body to recover and nourish. The meal would enhance muscle protein build-up, improve the recovery process as well as enhance the performance of the next workout.