What to Eat After a Workout

What to Eat After a Workout

It’s easy to think, upon completing a workout, that our job has been done.  Right?  You finished that sweat-sesh, that yoga-spinning-barre-run-swim-climbing-walk-tennis extravaganza.  And now you’re done.  Well, not quite.  Obviously, exercise is extremely important.  Our national guidelines recommend at least thirty minutes of daily physical activity to promote lifetime longevity and overall quality of life.  However, to truly ensure the consistency of these benefits, we must also provide our body the adequate and appropriate fuel, both before and after exercise.

The body cannot run off limited resources, nor can it repair post-exercise-damaged muscles without refueling (as gross as it might sound, if we don’t properly feed ourselves post activity, the body begins to eat itself: muscles, ligaments, and needed fat stores).  Therefore, without refueling, exercise becomes counterintuitive.  After all, if you put in the work, you might as well make sure you reap the rewards!

We previously talked about good pre-workout foods; below are listed some excellent refueling recommendations, foods that are sure to aid recovery and gear you for your next adventure. AKA… here’s what you should eat after a workout. You’ll want to eat within 30-45 minutes of your activity and target protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This combination will promote muscle growth, prevent muscle degeneration, and replenish your energy stores (these stores are particularly important for anaerobic work, i.e. high-intensity exercise).

Try one of the following for your next post-workout snack or meal:
  • Sweet or regular potatoes
  • Chocolate milk (perfect combination of healthy fat, protein, and carbs!)
  • Pasta with red sauce (avoid creamy, heavy white sauces like alfredo for refueling; these are harder to digest)
  • Eggs (Omelets are a great option as you can combine several of the items within this list)
  • Fish (e.g. salmon)
  • Chicken
  • Avocado (excellent opportunity for an avocado toast with a fried egg and tomato!)
  • Nuts and nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut)
  • Whole grain cereal with fruit (avoid Capt’n Crunch/Froot Loops and think Honey Bunches of Oats)
  • Protein shake (banana, nut butter, oats, honey, nut/cow milk, protein powder (try Pure Protein- vanilla flavor)

We’re usually so concerned with eating before exercising, and don’t talk much about what to do when the workout is done. Now you that it’s not only important to eat, but what you should eat after a workout. What are your go-to post workout, refuel snacks?

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