You put a lot of effort into your workouts and reaching your goals. However, chances are you haven’t given much thought into your post-workout meal.
Consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is one of the most important meals of the day. Its great to put in the work, but you wont reap the rewards if you don’t rebuild properly. Anybody who cares about nutrition should pay attention. Whether you want to build muscle, or lose fat you should make sure to have a post workout meal.
Here is what you need to know, to fuel yourself optimally after your workouts and ensure you reach your goals.
Here is what you need to know:
- Eating a meal after a workout is important
- Protein, Carbs, and Fats
- Post workout timing matters
- Foods to eat after you workout
Eating after a workout is Important
To understand how the right nutrition can help recovery after exercise, it is important to understand how the body is affected by physical activity.
When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles are also broken down as a result of micro-tears.
After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair muscle breakdown.
This causes the body to want to adapt, to be able to handle to handle the stress it has been introduced.
Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help your body recover, and allow your body to adapt based on your training. It is particularly important to eat carbs and protein after your workout, as with healthy fats to aid protein digestion.
Doing this helps your body by:
- Preventing muscle breakdown
- Increasing muscle recovery (growth)
- Restoring glycogen stores
- Enhancing recovery
Protein, Carbs, and Fats
Learning the difference between the macronutrients Protein, Carbs, and Fats is important.
As explained above, exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein (micro-tears). This allows you to come in and use post workout nutrition to repair these micro tears and cause adaptations for your body to handle more stress.
The rate at which you experience muscle breakdown is dependant on your level of training and the intensity of your workout routine. At all levels athletes will experience muscle breakdown. If you do not experience muscle break-down your body will not change.
Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue.
It is recommended that you consume anywhere from 0.5g-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight depending on your goals.
Carbohydrates help with recovery. As you exercise, your body is utilizing its glycogen stores. Consuming carbohydrates post workout will help replenish these stores.
The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depend on the intensity of your activity. Depending on your goals, you may want to consume lower to higher amounts of carbohydrates.
Consuming higher amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day can prevent you from losing weight. This of course is dependant on your insulin sensitivity, metabolism, and activity levels.
Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows digestion and inhibits absorption of nutrients.
While fat may slow down absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits. It is always recommended to have a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats in every meal.
Your body’s ability to rebuild muscle breakdown is enhanced after you exercise.
For this reason, it is recommended that you consume a proper post workout meal. Although timing does not have to be exact, research has been shown that eating a post-workout meal within 45 minutes is optimal. This is referred to as the “Post-workout window”.
The longer you wait to refuel, the less efficient the body becomes at putting these nutrients to work.
Foods to eat after you workout
The primary outcome of your post-workout meal is to fuel your body with the right nutrients for proper recover and to maximize the benefits of your workout.
Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption.
These easily digested foods are great choices:
- Whey protein
- Greek Yogurt
- Chicken Breast
- Lean Beef
- Sweet Potatoes
- White or Red Potatoes
- White or Brown Rice
- Grass Fed Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Flax Oil
Sample workout meals
Combinations of the foods listed above can be great. These would provide you with all the nutrients you need after you exercise.
If you are looking for convenience Lean On Meals offers quick, and easy options. Easily reheatable, these meals are ready to eat.
Our Classic Sous Vide’ prepared Beef Tenderloin is available on the menu. Featured with Curry roasted potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli. Included with this meal, is a side of delicious house made Demi-Glace sauce.
Putting it all together
Consuming the proper nutrients after exercise is essential.
It will stimulate protein synthesis, improve recovery, and enhance performance and results. If you are looking to get more out of your workouts, this is the solution.
Consistency with the proper nutrition and training program will help you reach your goals. Feed the body what it needs after every workout, and the results will be surprising.