To eat or not to eat after a workout? The timeless question, right? OK, maybe not, but definitely one I get asked a lot.
Here is the situation, you finally get to the gym, you have a killer workout with weights and all, you feel amazing, and after 45 minutes you about to leave the gym and you are starving! You remember reading that after a workout you should eat something to help fuel your muscles, but you have no idea what to eat! HELP!
Here is the thing, the after workout meal can arguable be the most important meals of the day. Think of repairing and fueling your muscles as an extension of your workout! (Plus, it helps prevent injury!) Just as important as what you eat and drink before a workout, (HINT: LOTS of water) what you eat and drink after is just as important as your body is drained and needs to refuel.
So, the short answer is yes, you need to eat within the first 45 minutes after a workout with a good combination of carbs and protein in the meal and of course, lots of water.
Here are few of my favorite post-workout options:
- Protein shake- I use Post Workout Recovery
- Chocolate Milk
- Cottage cheese
- Apple slices, Orange slices, Grapes
- Avocado- Avocado Toast, anyone?!
- Grilled chicken
- Sweet potatoes
For me, my weekly routine involves a workout from 5:15-6:15pm, so I will drive home and have my dinner- usually grilled chicken and sweet potato. However, on a Saturday I workout mid-morning, in between breakfast and lunch, so a post workout shake is best for me then.
Don’t over think it. Your body simply needs to repair itself and refuel what it lost. Like any meal, if you plan ahead of time, you won’t feel as tempted to choose something with no nutrient value or get overwhelmed and don’t eat at all. Make your after workout meal a priority so you can maximize all the hard work you just did!
You got this!