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What Should You Eat After A Workout?

Whether you’ve gone for a run, swum a few laps or hit the gym for a sweat sesh, that physical activity requires a lot of energy. So, while exercise is great for your physical and mental health, what you do after exerting this energy is also important. 

Having a healthy snack post-workout is the best way to restore your energy levels and keep your body healthy and strong. Now, you might have questions about what types of foods you should be having post-workout and how soon after exercise you should be eating. Luckily, we’re here to answer all your questions about post-workout nutrition.  

Why should you eat post-workout?

During your workout, the muscles in your body will burn up their supply of glycogen (our muscles source of energy). Additionally, strenuous activities can result in your muscle proteins becoming damaged. 

Post-workout, your body will naturally work to restore its glycogen levels and repair the muscles. However, you can easily help you body with this recovery process by eating the right foods after a workout. 

What should you not eat after a workout?

Your post-workout nutrition is vital for your body’s recovery. So, to keep your body fit and healthy, you’ll naturally want to avoid certain foods after your exercise routine. 

You should avoid eating full-fat dairy, and fried, oily foods. These items are difficult for the digestive system to process and can upset your stomach. You should also stay away from highly processed foods like sugary drinks, candy and baked goods. 

How long should you eat after your workout?

Experts used to recommend that you eat a meal within 45 minutes after your workout, however, research has shown that you don’t have to eat quite so quickly. Eating a meal within a two hour window of your workout will do just th trick and replenish your body with the nutrients it needs. 

What should you eat after a workout?

Your post-workout snack should ideally contain all three macronutrients - protein, carbohydrates and fat. Proteins provide your body with the necessary amino acids to repair and rebuild the muscles after a workout while carbs aid in recovery by providing the body with glycogen. And you may think fat is bad, but there are actually healthy fats out there that can contibute to your overall health. 

Post-workout snack and meal ideas

Figuring out what you should and shouldn’t eat may be a little tricky at first. With these post-workout snack and meal ideas, you’ll be getting all the macronutrients your body needs. 

Yogurt bowl

Unsweetened Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and it has great health benefits for your digestive system too. Be sure to add some carbohydrates such as berries, as well as nuts and seeds which contain healthy fats. 

Trail mix

Homemade trail mixes containing nuts and seeds are not only a plant-based source of protein, but it will also nourish your body with healthy fats and high-fiber carbs. 

Protein shake

This is a great post-workout choise if you’re looking to up your protein intake. Do consider getting a protein powder thats unsweetened and unflavoured to keep this snack as healthy as possible. If you’d like to spice things up, blend up the power with some nutritious greens, fruits, avocado or nut butter to make a smoothie. 

Protein Bowl with quinoa

This post-workout meal is packed with goodness. Quinoa is not only a superfood, but it’s also a wholesome grain that’s high in protein. You can choose between tofu or chicken as your protein source. 

To top it all off you can add in some vegetables such as mushrooms, leafy greens, bell peppers and more. Of course, don’t forget to dress is with some avocado oil or sprinkle it with some seeds to get those healthy fats in. 

Mexican Tuna & Avocado Salad

With healthy avocado fats, protein-rich black beans and tune packed with omega-3s, you can’t go wrong with this nutritous post-workout meal. 

Egg white frittata with turkey bacon

Egg whites are an amazing food to eat after a workout as they’re packed with protein, a little bit of healthy fat and numerous vitamins and minerals. Adding turkey bacon will help up the protein level even more so, whilst adding colourful vegetables will amp up your overall nutrient intake.