Choosing The Right Foods To Eat After Workouts Is Crucial For Muscle Building, Muscle Recovery, And Prepping Your Body For The Next Round The Next Day!
Joining gym sessions head-on without giving a thought to some crucial questions of what to eat after workouts and before workouts is devastating.
While you work out your muscles, you are using up the stores of glycogen to fuel your body.
Those explosive exercises such as high knees, jump squats, jump lunges, and many more deplete your body of glycogen and also a few body proteins too.
During the post-workout period, your body tries to restore its glycogen levels and repair the muscle proteins.
Moreover, post-workout foods also help you recover your sore muscles and muscle cramps.
In fact, the shortest answer to what to eat after workouts is to get a lot of proteins and carbs on your plate.
The Importance of Understanding What to Eat After Workouts:
When you think of choosing foods or drinks to eat after workouts, consuming something plentiful in carbs and proteins within 30 minutes to one hour after the workout can rejuvenate your muscles.
Research shows that within the post-workout anabolic window of 45 to 1 h, protein intake can maximize the post-workout muscle protein synthesis.
As your metabolic activity is pumped up, carbs and proteins support your metabolic processes and provide adequate energy for it.
Therefore, take your post-workout drinks to the gym or pack a few post-workout snacks to consume immediately after a workout.
But, before you rush for it, here’s why it’s important to know what to eat after a workout:
According to Dr. Fuhrman, M.D., an expert in nutrition and natural wellbeing, revealed in one of his posts Get Pumped Safely With Plant Protein:
‘Over-consuming protein is a contributing factor to our epidemic of cancer’, he further adds, ‘excess protein may negatively affect calcium stores, kidney function, and bone health, and promote cardiovascular events.’
That must have been a shock to you!
Now that you are familiar with why it’s important to pay attention to know what to eat after a workout, let’s dig deeper into it:
What Food to Eat After Exercise?
Are you really losing weight and building leaner muscles after all those hours of effort at the gym?
If not, you may be unaware of what to eat after workouts and also before a workout.
While selecting foods for post-workout time periods, make sure that you opt for carbs or proteins that are easy to digest to boost nutritional absorption.
It’s recommended to consume whole foods rich in micronutrients after workout:
- Fruits (bananas, apples, grapes, etc.)
- Chia seed
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grain cereals
- Brown bread
- Coconut oil
- Flax seeds
- Protein shake
- Peanut butter
- Cottage cheese
- Fatty Fish (Salmon, tuna, etc.)
- Greek yogurt
- Grilled chicken
- Chocolate milk
Post-Workout Snacks & Drinks:
It’s crucial to replenish your energy levels after exercise to boost the muscle recovery process.
In case you are looking for a few post-workout snacks or drinks, here’s a few suggestions of what to eat after workout:
- Steamed vegetables (one cup) with Tofu (half cup)
- Protein shakes made with any of your favourite fruit mixed with a scoop of protein powder, hemp seeds, and almond milk.
- Greek yogurt with berries
- Sun butter and dates
- Peanut butter & banana smoothie
- Popcorns (1 bowl)
- Sweet potatoes paired with grilled chicken
- Almond serving (About 22 in a bowl)
- A box of 1% chocolate milk
- Frozen Grapes
Make sure to avoid processed foods and high-sugar chocolate bars as they can interfere with your boosted up metabolism levels. Rather, use the increased metabolic rates to your advantage by letting your body burn excess fat during the post-workout period.
But, after what Dr. Fuhrman revealed, how much protein to eat after a workout?
Research on protein timing on muscle strength recommends that intake of 0.4 To 0.5g of protein per kg of lean BMI during both pre and post-exercise workout is optimal.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated before, during, and after a workout to support muscle recovery. An electrolyte drink can replenish all the lost sodium and potassium salts in your body.
What To Eat After Workouts – What You Should Never Eat
Now that you are familiar with what to eat after a workout, it’s equally important to know what needs to be avoided.
Choosing the wrong foods before a workout can sabotage your progress at the gym and opting for the wrong food after a workout can make all your efforts go to waste.
Pre-Workout Foods to Avoid:
Foods that provide a constant source of energy for a long duration should be consumed before workout. Anything that takes longer to digest, is tough on your stomach, or even simple carbs that only offer an immediate energy spike should be avoided.
- Protein bars
- Fast food
- Diary products
- Spicy foods
- Unripe bananas
In fact, a wise choice of foods before a workout can boost or cut down your energy levels.
Post-Workout Foods to Avoid:
Foods that are hard to digest, excessively sugary, and dehydrating must be avoided. Also, processed foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners are not recommended for eating after a workout. In fact, prepare your protein shakes from scratch instead of adding sweetened protein powders into it.
- Spicy foods
- Heavy proteins steaks
- Fatty foods
- Fast foods
- Simple carbs
All in all, you should be well-aware of what to eat after a workout to support the boosted up metabolic processes.
Winding it Up:
Whenever we think of weight loss, its 80% diet, and 20% workout. But, as much as your meal choices matter, it’s crucial for you to decide what you will consume before a workout and what to eat after a workout.
Both pre-workout and post-workout foods are significant in determining the amount of weight loss and muscle building you would be able to achieve!