Let’s cut to the chase, your diet makes the largest impact on your fitness journey, NOT the workout. You may think, “Oh I can eat this, I just had a session at the gym.” No. Eating the wrong kinds of food can cancel out that two-hour workout you managed to get through earlier. Your post-workout food is vital! So what to eat after workout?
Everyone is different and another person’s diet may not work for you, but the fact is – your body needs to repair itself most after a workout. This is when it actually restores your energy, builds your muscle, and boosts your metabolism.
Consuming food that is loaded with sugar or saturated fat can and will slow down the process, affecting the efficacy of your workout.
Focus on fixing your diet first before hitting the gym. Ditch the processed, artificial food and stock up on whole foods because they are your best friends.
To keep the body running at peak performance, you must give it the protein, carbohydrates, and fat it needs, especially for those who just finished a good sweating.
These are called macronutrients and your body needs all three to achieve a healthy, balanced and effective diet.
Learn how to count macros here.
Ever wonder why bodybuilders love their post-workout protein shakes so much? To put it simply, exercise breaks down your muscle protein. Proteins are chains of amino acids (if you put it scientifically) and your muscles basically need those to recover.
This means that consuming an adequate amount of protein filled with amino acids will definitely boost muscle recovery and help build new muscle tissue.
You can’t go wrong with the popular hard boiled eggs and meat (chicken or steak) after a workout. If you’re into fish, try tuna or salmon as well. You can even throw shrimp in there if you’re a fan.
Wanna know what can happen if you go overboard your protein intake? Learn about it here.
In the intermittent fasting article, we mentioned that the human body absorbs all the nutrients and energy from the fuel provided by the food you eat. Your body uses up the glucose it needs right when you consume it, however the excess are stored.
These glycogen stores are being used up as fuel during physical activity and eating good carbohydrates post-workout replenishes them. Your best choices for healthy carbs would be sweet potatoes (or squash if you’re not a fan), vegetables such as carrots and broccoli, and oats.
Consider eating pasta or rice if you’re going for a heavier option.
Contrary to what most believe in, consuming fat right after a workout doesn’t actually affect your recovery. While it’s a good idea to limit it, as you should with every other food type, it definitely won’t affect your post-workout meal in terms of benefits.
One study even showed that whole milk is actually more effective at promoting muscle growth after a workout rather than skimmed milk. If you’re one of those people who loves avocado, it’s your time to shine. Go for it and also consider nuts in the equation. You can add coconut oil to your sweet potatoes as well.
On top of all this, make sure to rehydrate! Chug on that water before and after your workout to replenish your fluids as this helps with your recovery and performance before the next exercise session.