What should I include in my post-workout meal?

What should I include in my post-workout meal?

There have been numerous talks about post-workout meals and how to get the best out of them, but, in the end, it’s not just about eating the right quantities of protein, carbs, and fat. In order to help your body to enhance its ability to rebuild glycogen and protein, it’s essential to choose the right moment to eat.

In a nutshell, it’s recommended to consume a combination of protein and carbohydrates as soon as possible after finishing exercising. Sure, the timing does not need to be very exact, but a lot of nutritionists and trainers recommend eating within the first 45 minutes after you’re done.

As a side note, it is believed that delaying carbohydrate consumption by two hours, let’s say, after a workout can lead to up to 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis. And this is something nobody wants, in their mission to build a chiseled physique.

What should I eat?

Generally speaking, the main goal of eating after a workout is to supply your body with enough nutrients for a proper recovery and, obviously, get the maximum out of the workout.

Considering this, the main recommendation is to settle upon easy to digested foods, as they promote a faster nutrient absorption. In the ideal scenario, you must build a menu with foods from all three main categories, protein, carbs and fats.

You can use the list below, for starters:

Protein:

  • Animal- or plant-based protein powder (combine it with milk or water)
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar
  • Tuna

Carbs

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate milk
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables

Fats:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Dried fruits and nuts

How can I combine foods for the best post-workout meal?

Using the lists provided above, you can combine foods to create great post-workout meals, filled with nutrients and able to help you recover faster. Some of the most common examples are grilled chicken with roasted vegetables, egg omelet with avocado spread, oatmeal, alongside whey protein, banana, and almonds, as well as Greek yogurt, combined with berries and granola.

Of course, you can let your creativity go wild and combine these ingredients according to your personal preferences, as long as you mix one food from each category.

Final tip: Drink a lot of water!

One of the most important workout tips, besides sticking to the proper alimentation, is to drink plenty of water, before and after exercising. During your workout, you lose a lot of water and electrolytes through sweat, so replenishing the stocks will help you perform better and recover faster.

Staying properly hydrated allows your body to obtain the maximum results, so you can even choose an electrolyte drink, as long as it doesn’t have added sugar or other artificial sweeteners.

For personalized advice on how to get the maximum out of your workouts, as well as the motivation needed to live a more fit and healthy lifestyle, Fitness 360 is here to help you. With locations in Clearwater, Westchase, and Panama City Beach, you will find here spinning, yoga, Zumba, and lesmills classes, as well as all the equipment needed to obtain a great physique!

Picture Credit: mandarinMD