What to Eat After Exercise?

Post-workout nutrition plays a key role in muscle growth and repair. Certain foods can speed up your size and strength gains, enhance your performance, and improve recovery time. An ideal post-workout meal should contain fast digesting protein along with complex and simple carbs. Depending on your goals, you can vary the amount of carbs and protein ingested after exercise. Find out the best way to get the nutrients you need for optimal performance!


Why Is Post-Workout Nutrition Important?


Eating the right foods after exercise can help you build muscle and recover faster. Post-workout nutrition aids in protein synthesis, reduces catabolism (muscle breakdown), and helps replenish glycogen stores. It also prevents muscle fatigue and boosts your energy. This is particularly important for athletes and bodybuilders. Repletion of nutrients lost is also a key component in maximizing physical performance.


Your post-workout meal should include high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of carbs, and little or no fat. Opt for fast digesting protein because it’s more easily absorbed into the bloodstream and limits muscle loss. Eat less than three grams of fat per 100 calories. How many carbs you need depends on your goals. There’s a lot of controversy regarding these macros, but recent studies suggest that the human body doesn’t need carbs post workout to recover. Most fitness competitors and bodybuilders follow ketogenic diets and still manage to build muscle.


If you want to get bigger and stronger, we recommend you eat protein and carbs after exercise. Those who want to lose fat can skip the carbs or keep them to a minimum. Post-workout carbs are a good choice when bulking up and many lifters use mass gaining protein shakes to maximize muscle growth. The downside is that they also gain fat. Anyone looking to stay fit and healthy can eat moderate amounts of cabs after exercising. As long as your post-workout meal fits into your daily macros, there’s nothing to worry about.


Post Workout Nutrition Myths


There are a number of myths surrounding post workout nutrition, such as:


The post-workout meal is the most important meal of the day – While it is true that post-workout nutrition can make or break your progress, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most important meal. A balanced diet as well as a comprehensive and targeted workout routine has the biggest impact.


Replenishing glycogen is the primary goal of post-workout nutrition – This popular myth claims that glycogen resynthesis is essential to muscle growth. Research indicates that replenishing glycogen has a minimal impact on your overall progress.


There’s a one-hour window of opportunity for muscle growth after exercise – An overwhelming number of studies have shown that the so-called “anabolic window” is just a myth. The foods you eat throughout the day and prior to training are more important to muscle growth and repair than your post-workout meal is.


What to Eat Post-Workout?


Once you workout is done, you can either have a protein shake or a meal. Whey protein and other post-workout drinks will be digested much quicker than a solid meal. You can also eat fruit, steak and rice, meat and veggies, fish, or protein bars. Choose whole, naturalfoods and avoid refined sugars, pre-made dinners, and junk food.