Lately I have been receiving a lot of questions about what to eat after a workout.Â So, I wanted to take the time to make sure that we all understand the importance of post-workout nutrition and how it can affect how quickly you reach your fitness goals, without getting too scientific.
There are two major things to consider with your post-workout meal:
1)Â How soon after your workout you have your first meal
2)Â What to eat after your workout
How Soon After my Workout Should I have My First Meal?
Timing of your post-workout meal is VERY important. If you wait too long to eat after your workout your body will store the food you eat as fat, instead of feeding it right into the muscle.
Ideally, you should eat 30 minutes to 60 minutes (at most) after your workout. During this time, immediately after your workout, your muscles are in the most optimal state to absorb the nutrients, from your post workout meal, directly into the muscle.Â It is also a time where glycogens, the energy reserve in your muscle, can most efficiently be refueled. Waiting too long to eat will then starve the muscles and make your workout less effective.
What to Eat after My Workout?
The best post-workout meal should consist of a proper proportion of protein and carbohydrates.Â If you are working out to lose weight, you want to make sure that you have more protein in your post-workout meal than carbohydrates. However, if you want to splurge on carbs, having them post-workout is the most optimal time, as your body will not store them as fat.
Also, make sure to stay away from fat in any post-workout meal. Healthy fats are a great source of nutrition; however, during the time right after your workout, fats will slow down the digestion of the protein and carbohydrates that you have. By slowing down the digestion process you are slowing down the absorption of nutrients into the muscles.
The simplest and one of my favorite post-workout meals is a protein shake. I use a whey protein, combine it with water in a shaker cup, and sometimes have a piece of fruit to go along with it. This liquid meal absorbs into your body quickly and works immediately to restoring and rebuilding your muscle. Or, if I am not in a rush Iâ€™ll make myself a â€˜fancierâ€™ post-workout shake and combine the same ingredients in a blender.Â Another option, if you have more time, you can always cook egg whites, or chicken breast for a post-workout meal. But you want to make sure that you are getting it into your system as quickly as possible.
What you eat after your workout is one of the greatest determining factors in how quickly you reach your fitness goals. Keeping in mind these simple nutrition tips will help make each workout that much more effective and keep your fitness goals a reality.
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