Many people focus on what they are eating before they workout, but it is equally important to make sure that you are getting adequate nutrition immediately following your workout. Experts recommend consuming a meal that includes both healthy carbs and plenty of protein after your workout. Ideally, you should eat this meal within 45 minutes of exercising. At the very latest, your post-workout meal should be no more than 2 hours after you finish exercising.
Eating a meal filled with protein and healthy carbs provides you with several major benefits. First, it will limit the breakdown of your muscles and increase muscle growth – something that is very important to serious athletes. This will become less of a factor once your muscles become accustomed to the demands of your workout, but even serious athletes will experience some level of muscle protein breakdown. A high protein meal can help to minimize the effects of muscle protein breakdown.
Eat Your Protien
A high-protein meal can also help to aid in muscle recovery, getting you ready for your next workout sooner. High-protein foods provide your body with the amino acids required to build and strengthen muscles. Experts recommend consuming 20 to 40 grams of protein after each workout in order to minimize recovery time.
Dont Forget the Carbs!
The carbs you consume will help to replenish your body’s glycogen stores. Glycogen is used as fuel for your muscles during your workout, so it is important to help your muscles restock once your workout is complete. Different types of workouts will burn more or less glycogen. Aerobic activity such as running or other endurance sports will cause your muscle to consume more glycogen than something like lifting weights or other types of resistance training.
It is important that you consume high-protein foods and some healthy carbs together. This is because a balanced meal will help to stimulate insulin secretion, a process that will boost glycogen syntheses. Ideally, your post-workout meal will contain a 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein.
Choosing a well-balanced, post-workout meal can be tricky, but the following list will give you some options for a healthy snack to eat after you exercise.
Grilled chicken with vegetables.
Tuna with crackers.
Cottage cheese with fruit.
Hummus and pita bread or hummus and veggie sticks.
Peanut butter with rice crackers.
Greek yogurt parfait with granola and fruit.
Salmon and a sweet potato.
Cereal and nonfat milk.
Feel free to mix and match any of the options on this list in order to come up with a balanced post-workout meal that will work for you.