Post Workout Nutrition - What to Eat After the Gym
You put a ton of effort into your workouts every day, but what you eat surrounding your workout impacts your workout more than you may think. Pre-workout nutrition is all about giving you the energy you need to perform well, but what about eating to help you recover? Keep reading to find out more about post workout nutrition.
How Your Body is Impacted by Workouts and Using Nutrition to Recover
When you work out – your body uses glycogen stores for fuel. When that glycogen is used, glycogen depletion occurs, and muscles get damaged. When they heal, they grow, which causes those gains we are all looking for! To help repair your muscles faster, restoring the glycogen that has been depleted is key. In fact, eating the right nutrients can help decrease muscle breakdown (and loss), increase muscle synthesis (and gain), restore glycogen stores, and enhance recovery.
A balanced post workout meal is best for recovery as each macro nutrient provides a key to recovery. Let’s look at each component:
- Protein gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins and also gives you the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue.Protein should be consumed as soon as possible following a workout.
- Carbs are the primary source for glycogen replenishment; further, insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis, is better stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed at the same time. Carbs should be consumed within 30 minutes after a workout.
- Fat helps your body absorb micronutrients which you may lose through sweating. Consuming a small amount of healthy fat with your protein and carbs is essential to a well-rounded post workout meal.
As always, make sure you are consuming plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to keep yourself hydrated!
Post Workout Snacks/Meals to Try This Week
Now that you have the basics, here are some easy post workout snacks to try this week:
- Ezeikel bread + preserves + peanut butter OR protein shake
- Banana + almond butter
- Beef jerky + chocolate milk
- Chicken breast + sweet potatoes + avocado
- Hummus + whole wheat pita
- Turkey + cheese + whole grain crackers
- Greek yogurt + berries
- Brown rice + ground turkey + cheese + salsa
- Peanut better + bananas + rice cake
Working out is an essential component to overall wellness, but nutrition is the key to making sure you get the most out of the time you put in the gym. Eating a meal post workout or having a post workout snack 30 minutes after working out can help your muscles recover faster and prevent muscle breakdown. Make sure you fuel up for your workout and fuel up for your recovery.
What are your favorite post workout recovery meals/snacks? Let us know how you recover through nourishment along with your Musclestache for muscle relief!