Post-Workout Meals: What & When to Eat Next A Workout – If you’ve ever felt tired after a morning workout, had trouble sleeping after an afternoon workout, or struggled to recover before a workout the next day, you may not be meeting your post-workout nutritional needs.
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Why is My Post-Workout Meal Important?
A post-workout meal ensures you replenish the nutrients and energy you just consumed during your workout. In addition, your muscles need to adapt to training, regulate energy levels, and aid recovery.
It’s also essential to keep your body hydrated throughout the day, as there are many benefits to replenishing fluids lost during your workout. For example, drinking enough water can help improve sleep, cognitive function, and endurance during your training.
What Should You Eat After Exercise?
Meeting your body’s overall nutritional needs throughout the day, regardless of when you eat, can help you reach your goals and lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
However, some research suggests that higher intakes of certain macronutrients in your post-workout Meal may provide certain benefits regarding your workout.
Research shows that a post-workout meal containing high-quality protein can support muscle adaptation and repair, which is especially important if you’re a fan of resistance with weights. One study suggests that 20-25 grams of protein are optimal post-workout.
The American College of Sports Nutrition (ACSM) suggests that consuming 1.0-1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight (0.5-0.7 grams per pound) post-workout is optimal for glycogen resynthesize. Our bodies replenish glycogen stores that have been depleting during exercise. Eating enough carbohydrates after a workout also helps manage energy levels and promote daily recovery.
When Should You Eat After Exercise? – Post-Workout Meals
So, we now see how imperative it is to feed your body a meal rich in quality carbohydrates and protein after a workout. However, the need for food immediately after training is temporarily reduced
Recent research suggests that you can reap protein intake benefits after your workout for up to 24 hours, helping your muscles adapt and recover. So we strongly recommend taking it.
If you’re training hungry, you’ll benefit from a quick, easy, post-workout Meal rich in protein and carbohydrates. If you’re not fasting, you don’t have to eat your post-workout Meal immediately and can focus on eating quality protein and carbohydrates throughout the day.
It’s also essential to think about what works best for you and your lifestyle when deciding when to eat post-workout. Maybe you don’t feel hungry after exercising or don’t have time. Eating in a way that agrees you meet your daily nutritional needs and when it suits you and your routine is just as important.
Try some of the high-protein, high-carb meal suggestions below to help get you started.
- Tandoori chicken wrap
- Tuna and Rice Salad
- Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Peanut, chicken, and soba salad
- Blue tofu protein bowl
Some Quick and Easy Meals if you’re Training Fasted
- egg tortilla
- overnight oats
- protein shake
- chocolate peanut butter smoothie bowl
Are Supplements Necessary? – Post-Workout Meals
An article published by the Royal Aussie College of General Practitioners (RACGP) suggests that recreational athletes should take a ‘food first approach. It means meeting their nutritional needs through whole foods rather than supplements. It states that it can serve as a dietary supplement.
With this in mind, taking a post-workout protein supplement can be beneficial if you are training on an empty stomach and don’t have time to prepare meals. However, we recommend you consult with us to ensure that it suits you.
Start planning your post-workout Meal
Post-workout nutrition can significantly impact your mood, training results, and recovery.
It’s important to change what you eat after your workout based on whether you’re fasting, personal goals, and time constraints. In addition, stay hydrated to regulate energy levels and aid recovery. It is also vital.
For advice on general nutrition and post-workout eating, we recommend consulting with a local registered dietitian.
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