After a workout, it’s important to replenish your body with the right nutrients to help your muscles recover and grow. Whether you’re doing weightlifting, cardio, or a combination of both, proper post-workout nutrition can make all the difference in how you feel and how quickly you see results.
Here are some tips on what to eat after your workout:
- Protein is key
Protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth, and it’s important to get it in as soon as possible after your workout. Aim for at least 20 grams of protein in your post-workout meal or snack. Good sources of protein include chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, Greek yogurt, and protein powder.
- Carbs are important too
While protein is important, you also need carbs to help replenish glycogen stores in your muscles. Carbs help to refuel your body and provide energy for your next workout. Aim for around 30-40 grams of carbs after your workout. Good sources of carbs include sweet potatoes, quinoa, fruit, and whole grain bread or crackers.
- Don’t forget about hydration
Hydration is key after a workout. You lose a lot of fluids during exercise, so it’s important to replenish them. Water is always a good choice, but if you’ve been sweating a lot, you may also want to include an electrolyte drink to help replace lost sodium and potassium.
- Timing is important
Try to eat your post-workout meal or snack within 30 minutes to an hour after your workout. This is when your muscles are most receptive to nutrients and can start the recovery process. If you’re unable to eat immediately after your workout, try to have a protein shake or snack on hand to tide you over until your next meal.
- Don’t forget about micronutrients
While protein and carbs are important, don’t forget about the other nutrients your body needs. Vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health and can help with muscle recovery. Try to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your post-workout meal to get a range of micronutrients.
Overall, post-workout nutrition is key to helping your body recover and grow. By focusing on protein, carbs, hydration, timing, and micronutrients, you can give your body the fuel it needs to get the most out of your workouts.
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In Good Health,
Dan, Team Midwest Meals
NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist