Post Workout Meal - What Should You Eat After An Intense Workout?

When planning for a workout, there's a lot that goes into preparation to attain the outcome. It is much more than choosing the gym or an exercise to perform. One of the crucial things to think about is post-workout meals. While most people neglect it, in reality, eating and exercising go hand-in-hand. Knowing when and what to eat after a workout makes a huge difference and helps display quick results. 


Whether you prefer jogging, riding a bicycle, lifting weights, etc., your motive should not be just to complete the challenge but also to reap the maximum benefits. After an intense workout session, a post-workout meal works as a body refuel and helps in improving recovery along with a better performance in the next workout. If you, too, want to build your muscles and reach your fitness objectives, scroll down and review this article. This article is a detailed guide to make you understand the connection between eating and exercising. Reading this will expand your knowledge which will help you maximize your efforts even after you walk out of the gym.


Importance of Post Workout Meal


Before you understand what to eat after a workout, it is essential to know why you should have it. Knowing the benefits will encourage you not to skip and have the right food that can positively affect your body.


The primary reason people should have a post-workout meal is that while working out, our body muscles use all the glucose stored in our body. This eventually depletes the glucose level in the body. So, eating something after a workout helps manage that level and bring it back to the required position. Apart from this, a post-work meal reduces fatigue, builds strength, improves recovery, repairs muscles, and more.


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What to eat after a workout & Why?



After a workout, getting the right nutritional balance helps restore the lost energy, repair the muscles, and enjoy several other benefits. Like proteins, carbohydrates, and fat, every macronutrient plays a pivotal role in the recovery process. Depending on one nutrient won’t help you gain the desired results. Hence, we recommend the right mix. 



Exercise causes muscle protein breakdown. It happens every time a person works out; however, its rate varies with the level of training. Hence, whenever a person asks what to eat after a workout, it is recommended to add proteins to their diet. It helps build up existing muscles, avoids lean mass loss, provides a toned appearance, and much more.


Consuming the right amount of proteins provides the body with the amino acids that are much needed for repairing and rebuilding the lost protein levels. When it comes to the adequate amount, 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight is suggested. 


Suggested Read: 9 Protein-Rich Vegetables For A Balanced Diet



While proteins are suitable for repairing and rebuilding muscles, carbs help with recovery. This macronutrient restores the fuel supply that is used by the body during a workout. It replenishes the lost glycogen and promotes its synthesis for better performance and recovery after working out. However, those who are into endurance sports require a higher amount of carbohydrates than those engaged in weightlifting.


Despite the benefits, it is vital to know the right amount of carbs to add to your diet. As per the experts, it is recommended to consume 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. This amount is needed to be consumed within 30 minutes after training. 


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This might seem like a no-brainer, but in reality, fats are not bad. Even if you work out, the body requires an adequate amount of good fat for quick recovery. The majority of people who ask what to eat after a workout think that fats slow down digestion and affect the absorption of nutrients. However, this is not the case with some types of fats. 


Make sure you pick the right kinds of fats and in the right quality to enjoy the maximum benefits and reduce its negative repercussions.  


Suggested Read: Lifestyle Changes To Control Increased Cholesterol


Some Post-Workout Meal Examples



The primary purpose for knowing what to eat after a workout is to provide the body with the nutrition it needs for recovery and to optimize the advantages of the training. To enjoy maximum benefits, you must take out some time and choose the right meal for you. To help you make a choice, here are some of the examples of post-workout meals. You can also add your touch or mix and match the ingredients to treat your body and taste buds.


- Protein Shake or Smoothie 

- Egg and Whole Wheat Toast

- Greek Yogurt with Fruits

- Chicken or Sweet Potatoes

- Nuts or Nuts Butter

- Avocado 

- Dark leafy greens

- Cereal and Milk

- Cottage cheese

- Ricotta

- Quinoa and other grains

- Pasta

- Tart cherry juice

- Chicken with Brown Rice and Vegetables

- Tuna

- Trail Mix


Suggested Read: 11 Easy Foods To Aid Your Weight Loss Regimen


Timings Of Post Workout Meal


As much as it is essential to know what to eat after a workout, it is equally crucial to learn the correct timing. Without a doubt, timing your meals is a game-changer. If you consume your meal at the right time, you can gain a lot more benefits than having it at the wrong time.


The ideal time to eat a post-workout meal is 30 minutes to three hours after a workout. This time is the optimal duration for the body to use all the nutrition and recover from physical exertion. Even if you don’t feel like eating a complete meal after a workout, you can go for light snacks or just a glass of milk.


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The Bottom Line

As a part of your fitness routine, it is essential to put a lot of thought into your post-workout meal. Eating right works as downing fuel into the body to have a real impact on your fitness. As per experts within the nutrition field, “consuming the right nutrients after an exercise is just as important as what you eat before.” Hence, through this article, understand the connection between working out and eating and learn what to eat after a workout.


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