Post-Workout Nutrition: Best Post-Workout Food

POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION: BEST POST-WORKOUT FOOD

Written by: ASN

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Time to read 4 min

Why is Eating Post-Workout Important?

You know the drill… you drive home from the gym questioning your life after a soul-shattering back day and completely forget to eat. Sometimes it’s hard to work up an appetite after completely killing it at the gym, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Eating after training plays a critical role in assisting the recovery of your muscles and replacing their glycogen stores. That’s why you should eat a meal containing protein and carbohydrates within two hours of exercise. If you’re unable to eat, consider a snack and make sure you drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration (Mayo Clinic. 2021).

Benefits of Eating Post-Workout!

Eating after a heavy gym session will help your body replenish the nutrients lost during exercise while repairing muscles. The best way to support your muscle recovery is to fuel your body with proper nutrition, helping to support damaged muscle tissues, refresh electrolytes and restore your glycogen storage (Purdie, J. 2022).

What are the Best Foods to Eat Post-Workout?


Protein

Protein is a must-have after working out because it can help rebuild and repair muscle.

Training triggers the breakdown of muscle protein, so it is vital that you consume enough protein throughout the day to give your body the amino acids that it requires to repair and rebuild these proteins.

If your primary goal is to build muscle, then consuming high-quality protein within two hours of training can stimulate your body to create the building blocks for more muscle tissue (Semeco, A et al. 2022).

Eggs, salmon, chicken & tuna are some of the best post-workout foods and are excellent ways to boost your protein intake after a workout. If those aren’t easily available, and you need a convenient alternative, mixing Protein Powder with water, milk or your favourite smoothie can quickly boost your protein intake. For a perfect low-fat protein that can support your muscle recovery with a sustained-release, Evolve Incredible Whey is one of the best options on the market. Otherwise, if you’re a snacker, a simple Protein Bar can deliver a quick boost (Semeco, A et al. 2022).

Dairy protein is excellent to consume following training; milk aside, these products are among the best post-workout foods and can work wonders (Barhum, L. 2022):

Greek yoghurt

Ricotta cheese

Cottage cheese

Kefir

Carbs

Your body needs carbs to build fuel for working muscles. In addition to protein, you should try to get plenty of carbs into your body after a workout to boost your muscles as they replenish the glycogen lost during training.

Carbohydrates are like fuel that you need to load your muscles with. It is important to consume them prior to training (1-4 hours depending on how your stomach handles food) and equally so in the aftermath. Following an intense workout, you should consume carbs within an hour of finishing a session.

A post-workout smoothie (with plenty of fruit and low-fat milk), low-fat chocolate milk, turkey and veggies on a whole-grain wrap or low-fat yoghurt with berries can deliver a good foundation of carbs with some added protein (Mohr, C. 2019).


Hydrate


This one should come naturally if you’ve got a bottle of water handy, but remaining hydrated after training is crucial in optimising your recovery after a heavy workout.

During training, your body sweats as it tries to maintain its optimal temperature. When sweat evaporates from your skin, it removes heat from your body while also sacrificing body fluids. It is important to drink before, during and after a workout to ensure that you replace the fluids that are lost during exercise, otherwise you may find yourself dehydrated (Better Health, 2022).

Depending on the conditions of your workout (Temperature, duration of training, intensity of training) will depend on how much water you will need to replenish lost fluids, but you should generally plan to replace 125-150% of the fluid deficit over the next 2-6 hours. Consuming fluids with your recovery snacks and meals can help you achieve this goal (Fitness Education. 2020).

If you need a little extra kick to help you refresh you and replenish lost amino acids, then you may want to quench your thirst with a refreshing dose of Amino Acids. Mixing a formula like Amino Corps, Xtend BCAA’s or BCAA Boost with a cold glass of water can help you enhance water absorption and replace the vital electrolytes lost through sweat.

When Should You Eat Post-Workout

Your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after a workout, so it is important that you consume a combination of carbs and protein soon after exercise. Fitness and nutrition experts recommend consuming carbs and protein no later than two hours after training, because any further delayed carb consumption can lead to up to 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis. However, more recent research has suggested that the window may be several hours longer when it comes to consuming protein (Semeco, A et al. 2022).

The Bottom Line

If you think your post-workout diet doesn’t impact your results, think again. While a great training regime, a fresh diet, a reliable stack of supplements and a healthy sleep pattern can work wonders; understanding the best post-workout foods and when to consume them can take your results to the next level.

Whether you need help finding the right advice to enhance your recovery, or want the best protein supplements to support your muscle recovery, our friendly staff can help you online or in-store at one of our 32 Australian stores.

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Mayo Clinic. 2021, ‘Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximise your workouts’, Mayo Clinic, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045506#:~:text=Eat%20after%20you%20exercise&text=To%20help%20your%20muscles%20recover,Yogurt%20and%20fruit>

Puridie, J. 2022, ‘Post Workout: What to Eat and When’, Verywell Fit, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.verywellfit.com/the-best-foods-to-eat-after-a-workout-3121369>

Semeco, A et al. 2022, ‘Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout’, Healthline, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eat-after-workout>

Barhum, L. 2022, ‘What should you eat after working out?’ Medical News Today, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322692>

Mohr, C. 2019, ‘Timing Your Pre- and Post- Workout Nutrition’, Eat Right, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.eatright.org/fitness/exercise/exercise-nutrition/timing-your-pre-and-post-workout-nutrition>

Better Health. 2022, ‘Exercise - the low-down on dehydration’, Better Health, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Exercise-the-low-down-on-water-and-drinks#>

Fitness Education. 2020, ‘The Importance of Hydration During Exercise’, Australian Fitness Academy, accessed 11 November 2022,

https://www.fitnesseducation.edu.au/blog/health/the-importance-of-hydration-during-exercise/>