Post-workout nutrition tip

Working out is more than just going to the gym. It is time before and after the training that counts too, as well as our other habits. To make workout routine effective, it is of great importance to balance your diet and to adjust it to your needs. Not every physical activity requires a strict regime, but if you aim for increasing strength or endurance, what you eat before and especially after the workout plays a big role in rebuilding muscle proteins and restoring glycogen stores, which in the end speeds up recovery and stimulates muscle growth. There are good and bad food choices, so keep reading to learn more about proper post-workout eating habits you should adopt.

Why is it necessary to eat after the workout?

Intense physical activity affects your body in a way that slightly damages your muscle fibers by partially depleting glycogen stores as well as breaking down proteins. After the training session, your body keeps working hard to regrow muscle proteins and to restore glycogen, eventually building stronger muscles with better definition. If your body lacks the fuel that helps this restoring and repletion process, your workout, regardless of how intensive is it, will lack results. On the other hand, the consumption of proper nutrients after a workout will significantly increase the workout effects, and it will decrease inflammation.

What to include in a post-workout meal?

The macronutrients that are ideal as a post-workout food are proteins and carbs. Since proteins help to build the muscles and carbs are perfect for the muscle recovery, it is best to consume the two at the same time. Also, having a meal with carbs and proteins will stimulate insulin secretion which promotes glycogen synthesis. Having a well-balanced meal with a ratio of 3:1 (carbohydrates to proteins) will replenish your body, speed up the recovery and maximize workout effects. Although many people avoid fat, know that limited amounts of fat will not reduce the benefits of post-workout meal nor it will affect the absorption of nutrients.

When to eat?

Right after the workout would be ideal. As time passes, the ability of your body to recover and to rebuild proteins significantly drops. Perfect timing for a post-workout meal would be within first thirty minutes and not longer than an hour. Any delay of proper nutrient consumption may lead to decreased nutrient absorption and lower rates of glycogen synthesis. However, if you don’t manage to have a meal in such a short time, know that your body will use the benefits of your pre-workout meal, since depending on the timing, they may still apply.

What is on the post-workout menu?


Choose easily digested carbs like pasta, rice, oatmeal, potatoes and sweet potatoes, chocolate milk and fruits like banana or berries. Eggs, chicken, tuna, salmon and Greek yogurt will cover your protein deficit. If you wish a continuous protein supply to your muscles, try casein protein before bed. Over the night it will slowly digest and release amino acids into your body for around eight hours. Also, don’t hesitate to eat some healthy fats like nuts or avocado. Be creative and mix these ingredients that go well together, like oatmeal and bananas, or Greek yogurt with berries.

No time or appetite?

Neither of those can be an excuse since you have to eat. Prepare your meal before the workout and eat right after. Unpack your wholegrain bread/tuna sandwich and eat it right after showering. No one will think you’re crazy. Although you may not feel hungry, know that your body screams for nutrients, so always have a protein bar with you, or at least mix a protein shake with a fruit smoothie. Bottoms up and voila! Here is your post-workout emergency meal.


By taking care of your diet, you will be able to get more benefits from exercising. The workout itself is a good thing, but insufficient when it comes to reaching your goals of having the fabulous lean physique with perfect muscles. Aside from exercising, food counts the most, so watch what you eat and plan your meals. Since going through the trouble of workout already, you should try to make the best out of it.

Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full - time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.

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