Post Workout Meal at Home

by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert

Ben Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert Sports and Exercise Nutrition Level 2 Strength and Conditioning CoachWritten by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.

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Nutrition Is Key for Exercise

Both nutrition and exercise play an integral part in maintaining optimal health, with both providing vital fuel to sustain long-term physical well-being.

Exercise will become significantly harder without proper fuel; to ensure you're receiving what your body needs to perform its best workout, focus on eating a diet rich in carbs, proteins, and healthy fats for maximum performance!

Carbs provide energy for most activities. To maximize energy and avoid fatigue or dehydration after exercise, it's advisable to consume carbohydrates-rich foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables in the hours leading up to and immediately following your workout (Smith & Collene 2015).

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. Most adults should aim to incorporate 15-25 grams of high-quality protein at each meal for maximum muscle repair and growth (Rosenbloom & Coleman 2012).

Aiming to consume protein within 30 minutes post workout may also assist muscle protein synthesis while decreasing muscle breakdown (Rosenbloom & Coleman 2012).

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals essential for normal bodily functioning. They also play an integral part in maintaining a strong immune system and good bone health, and can be found in many foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources.

In this article we shall look at the following key areas:

  • What to eat¬†
  • What food should I have after working out?
  • After-workout meal
  • After-workout snacks
  • Nutition timings
  • Supplements
  • Conclusion

You'll be less likely to get sick or injured if you fuel your body to match your efforts.

We're here to tell you the truth about nutrition after a workout, such as when to eat, what to snack on, and how to make easy, nutritious meals. 

You'll learn which supplements can help you achieve your goals. 

Let's start.

What to Eat 

Are you aiming for the skies with huge muscles? Are you set on achieving strength that will blow the roof off? You may be working out to achieve lean muscles and a taut tone. Post-workout nutrition is important for all goals. 

Fuel is the food you eat. Food that is balanced, healthy, and nutritious. 

Let's first learn about post-workout nutritional effects on the body, and why they are so crucial. Knowing the science will help you to make better choices, like winning. 

Have you ever seen bodybuilders grabbing snacks right after their work out? It's for a very good reason. 

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Muscle Protein Synthesis

Did you know that according to studies, consuming the right nutrition after a workout can have a positive impact on muscle growth and protein synthesis. 

You should consume a variety of amino acids in your diet to help repair and build muscle. 

You can't overlook this process. The foods that we recommend will lay the groundwork for success and progress. 

Muscle Recovery

Exercises that are intense can damage muscle fibers. After a hard workout, eating the right foods can help repair and rebuild these damaged fibers. 

You'll notice a decrease in the muscle pain and recovery time.

Muscle Adaptation 

The right foods after exercise can help optimize your body's reaction to the workout. Protein after exercising, for example, supports muscle growth, leading to gains in muscle mass on every level. 

For insider advice and some inspiration, check out our guide on how to increase your intake of protein to gain more muscle. 

What should I eat after a workout?

A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that eating protein immediately after exercising can result in more muscle protein syntheses and growth than waiting. This is often called the anabolic period.

A second study showed that the combination of carbohydrates and protein consumed following resistance training could lead to an important increase in insulin release and muscle protein synthesis. 

We'll divide the foods into micro- and macronutrients to help you understand which is best for post-workout recovery. 

This is because we want to make sure you get the best results possible, fitness and physical performance are not acheived by exercise alone.

Macros (Macronutrients)

Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are all part of the diet. 

Carbs provide the majority of your body's energy and are the preferred source of energy.

Did you know that proteins are essential for muscle growth and repair? Fats are also a source of energy, and they help to regulate hormones and nutrient intake. You need all the things you can to be at your peak performance. 

Protein

After your workout, consuming high-quality proteins with lots of leucine can help to enhance muscle hypertrophy and repair. 

Consuming protein after exercise can counter cataolism (muscle breakdown) and stimulate muscle protein synthesis. 

To provide your body with essential amino acids, you should consume high-quality protein sources such as whey, dairy products, fish, meats and eggs. 

Consume approximately 20-30 grams protein after your activity.

Carbohydrates

It is important to replenish glycogen, as it becomes depleted when you exercise. Whole grains, fruit, and vegetables are good sources of carbohydrates. Foods containing refined sugars and highly processed flours lack nutrients and should really only be used to fuel immediately before exercise. 

Refuel with 30-40 grams of complex carbohydrate. 

Fat

Healthy fats will help to keep you motivated and aid in the absorption of nutrients. You should aim for small amounts of healthy fats such as avocado, olive oils, nuts, and seeds.  

You may choose to consume 10-20 grams healthy fats in your post-workout meals, assuming you consume 2000 calories per day and that 25 to 35 percent of those calories come from fat. 

Micros (Micronutrients)

Potassium, Vitamin C and Magnesium are just three micronutrients that are important for many bodily functions. 

Potassium

Consume foods high in potassium for muscle and nerve functions. 

Let bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes and other vegetables do the magic for you. 

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral for bone and energy metabolism. It can be found in black beans, almonds and spinach. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for wound healing and immune function. Collagen synthesis doesn't just mean having a healthy, youthful skin. It also means that you can recover and grow your muscles. 

Citrus fruits, broccoli stems and bell peppers are all great sources of vitamin C. 

Post-Workout Meals: The Best Post Workout Meals

Post-workout, eat nutritious meals that are high in nutrients to replenish, repair, and heal your body. The suggestions may seem lighter, but are packed with nutrients and easy to digest. 

We'll get right to it and talk about the best meals to eat after a workout, because you do not need to live on protein shakes. 

Avocado and Eggs on Whole-Grain Toast

Avocados are rich in healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. The avocado is also delicious. Add boiled eggs or scrambled to the dish for an extra protein boost. 

With all the protein, this post-workout dish will keep you fuller longer. 

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Chicken

If you do not love quinoa you will learn to. 

Grilled chicken is an excellent source of lean proteins and carbs. Add vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers to the quinoa for an extra nutritional boost. 

Hummus and Whole Wheat Pita with Sliced Vegetables

Hummus contains healthy fats and plant-based proteins. The whole wheat pita provides the carbohydrates, while the vegetables are a good source of nutrients. This is a great post-workout snack. 

Grilled chicken with sweet potato and steamed vegetables

Sweet potatoes and complex carbohydrates are found in sweet potatoes. Steamed vegetables like broccoli or green beans are also a great source of nutrition. 

Quinoa and roasted vegetables with salmon

A super delicious post-workout meal. 

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acid, which has anti-inflammatory and heart healthy properties. Quinoa provides complex carbohydrates and is an excellent source of protein. Asparagus and bell peppers are rich in vitamins and minerals. 

Best Post-Workout Snacks

You don't like to eat large portions? These snacks can build champions. They are small, but powerful. 

Greek Yoghurt with Mixed Berries and Almonds

Greek yogurt is rich in protein. Mixed berries are a good source of antioxidants, and they also provide fibre. Add a few almonds to your meal for healthy fats and protein. 

Banana and Almond Butter Smoothie - Protein Shake

This classic combination is a popular and healthy snack to have after a workout. Blend a banana, a protein powder, some almond milk and almond butter together. The perfect post-workout smoothie. It's packed with all the fuel you need. 

Greek Yoghurt with Berries and Almonds

Greek yogurt is high in calcium and protein. Fresh berries, such as strawberries, can make it a snack that is high in antioxidants. Almonds provide healthy fats as well as protein. 

What Time Should You Eat? When Should you eat?

A second important question. What time should you eat right after your exercise? 

After a workout, carbs should be consumed first followed by proteins. 

Protein helps repair and recover muscles while carbs replenish glycogen and give you energy. 

The amount of carbs and proteins to consume after an exercise can depend on factors like body weight and intensity of the workout. 

Carbs. After exercise, you should consume between three and five grams per kilogram body weight of carbohydrate.

Protein. After your workout, aim for 20-30 grams of protein.

And, eat within 30-60 minutes of the exercise. Within two hours will be a good timeframe to help you recover if you can't grab something sooner. 

If you eat during this time, your body will be more effective at replenishing its glycogen reserves and increasing muscle protein synthesis. 

Supplements to consider

Want to get there faster? Anyone, from professionals to amateurs, use supplements for muscle recovery and growth. 

The supplements you take are not meant to replace your food. They work with the body to help achieve what you're trying to accomplish and fill any deficiencies. 

Which supplements can help you achieve your goals? 

You can fuel your muscle gains by using explosive products like caffeine, creatine and omega-3 fatty acid, as well as protein powder. 

However, to benefit further, you can use Military Muscle. This product has been formulated by sports nutritionists and military fitness trainers to enhance your recovery, provide your body with electrolytes and give you the nutrients to optimize hormone balance.

Conclusion

When it comes to meeting your exercise recovery goals, there are a few components you should keep in mind.

Post exercise nutrition should always be prioritized - no matter if you are newcomer or veteran athlete; having access to adequate post workout food will make all the difference in your progress.

Tough workouts deplete muscle fuel stores, sap fluid and electrolytes through sweat loss, and can damage muscle fibers.

In order to maximize muscle repair and regrowth after exercise, high-quality proteins can play an essential role in stimulating the process known as muscle protein synthesis; carbs provide replenishing glycogen stores while aiding recovery from physical stressors such as exercise.

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