Why is it Important to Eat After a Workout?
Meals consumed after working out are equally important to the workout itself. Or—to be more specific—the nutrients contained in those meals are what’s important.
When exercising, your muscles deplete their glycogen storage (their energy source) while simultaneously breaking down their proteins.
Post-workout your muscles work hard to restore both, and in doing so become stronger. Consuming the right nutrients will help accelerate this process.
Best Nutrients to Eat After Exercising (and why)
What are the most important nutrients to consume after working out? There are two: protein and carbs. Consuming both will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis.
Protein aids in repairing and building muscle. Amino acids, otherwise known as the building blocks of protein, are necessary for this process. They cannot, however, be made naturally by the body and must be consumed via food.
Carbs aid your muscles with recovery as they replenish them with glycogen. It’s important to note that the amount of glycogen lost during your workout depends on the type of workout you perform, and therefore will dictate how many carbs you need post-workout. For example, high intensity workouts or endurance sports will deplete higher amounts of glycogen than weightlifting or Pilates will.
Consuming the proper the ratio (ideally 3 to 1 of carbs to protein) is key to your muscle growth and recovery.
Post-Workout Meal Ideas
- Egg scramble with vegetables and sweet potato
- Power shake with SmartProtein, bananas, peanut butter, and your favorite non-dairy milk
- Chicken breast and brown rice
- Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread (our favorite brand is Dave’s Killer Bread)
- Quinoa bowl with veggies and sweet potato
- Salmon grain bowl
- Cottage cheese with fruit
Don’t forget to stay hydrated!