Keeping fit isn’t just about what you don’t eat, it’s also about what you eat after you exercise. During workout your body uses up its stored sugar and your muscles can also be torn or damaged with all that activity – and keeping it that way isn’t going to help either.
After you’ve put in all the work to ensure you have that fit and toned body, you can do better by making sure you eat the right foods after workout. The right nutrients and right items will ensure that your body gets to quickly rebuild lost nutrients, electrolytes and glucose for fuel, but muscles also get to repair, heal, and regrow fast.
Your immediate post-workout snack should consist of an adequate mix of protein, carbs, and fats.
Here are some post-workout staples you should have in your pantry (or gym bag).
What Should You Eat?
Protein is essential for muscle recovery, repair, and building. In fact, studies show that consuming 20 to 40 grams of protein boosts recovery after workout.
Ideally, you should hit for 0.14 to 0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight after exercising.
Here are some examples of protein-based snacks you can eat after working out.
- Protein powder (whey, casein, egg, pea, etcetera). Both animal and plant-based powders are okay.
- Seeds (flax, chia)
- Protein bar
- Lean meat (chicken breast or tuna)
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. Carbs are important for your body to function properly, so after exercise or any kind of sports or training, it’s crucial to replenish lost fuel stores.
Experts say you should aim for 0.5 to 0.7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. Carbs should be consumed within 30 minutes after workout.
Here are some common examples of carbs:
- Sweet potato
- White carbs: Rice, pasta, rice cakes
- Fruits (banana, berries, apples, mangoes)
- Chocolate milk drink
- Dark, leafy green vegetables
Studies show that fat is crucial to muscle growth after a workout. In fact, one study in Pub Med Central reveals that whole mix is more efficient in terms of muscle building after exercise tham skim milk.
Here are some healthy sources of fat:
- Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)