Grab your cheat sheet
You've been hitting the gym hard. Acing your workouts. Eating better than ever. Your body is taking an ass-kicking, and you want results, fast.
Wanna get there quicker? Get yourself a nutritious post-workout meal.
Not only is it a great way to enhance your post-workout recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and improve overall performance, but you're less likely to be injured or get ill if your body is fueled up to the max.
Here, we're going to give it to you straight about post-workout nutrition, including times to eat after working out, post-workout snacks, and easy-to-make nutritional meals that pack a punch.
We'll even cover which supplements will launch your workouts into orbit.
Let's get to it.
Why Eating After a Workout Is Important (Regardless of Your Goals)
Aiming for the sky with massive muscles? Dead set on through-the-roof strength? Or maybe you're in the workout realm for lean muscle mass and taut tone. Whatever your goals, they all point to post-workout fuel.
And by fuel, we mean food. Good, nutritious, balanced food.
But first, let's find out about the effect of post-workout nutrition on the body and why it’s so important. Because knowing the science can help you follow through, push for that last rep and make the best choices moving forward like a winner.
Seen pro bodybuilders hitting the snacks after their workout? There's a good reason for it.
Muscle Protein Synthesis
Did you know? Studies show that consuming proper nutrition post-workout can impact muscle protein synthesis and the growth of your muscles.
This is because muscles require a healthy supply of essential amino acids to repair and grow, which you should consume through a balanced diet and post-workout meals.
It's an essential process you can't ignore. So, taking in the kind of foods we'll recommend below will help to lay the foundations for not only progress but success.
Intense workouts can cause damage to muscle fibers. Eating the right kinds of food after a workout helps repair the damage, even rebuilding these damaged muscle fibers.
Cue a reduction in muscle soreness and the recovery times of men of steel.
Eating the right food after a workout helps optimize the body's response to exercise. For example, eating protein after exercise supports the growth of muscle tissue, which leads to muscle gains on all levels.
Read: Our guide to boosting your protein intake to build more muscle for insider tips and inspiration from CrazyBulk HQ.
What Should I Eat After a Workout?
It's the golden question.
And we've got the answer.
According to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, consuming protein straight after exercise can lead to more muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth compared to waiting to eat protein.
Another study found that a combination of protein and carbohydrates consumed after resistance training can lead to an all-important increase in insulin secretion and that muscle synthesis we know and need.
What to Eat Post Workout
To understand what the best food is for your post-workout recovery, we're going to divide them into macronutrients and micronutrients.
We're doing this because it helps to understand the full nutritional scope of what your body needs for overall health, optimum recovery—and the ultimate shredding— 'cause results don't just come from sweating it out in the gym, y’all.
These come in the form of proteins, carbs, and fats.
You probably know carbs are the body's primary source of energy, right?
But did you know proteins aid in muscle repair and growth? Also, fats provide energy and help with nutrient absorption and hormone balance. All the stuff you need to perform at your best.
Let's check 'em out.
Protein consumption, particularly high-quality protein with a bunch of leucine, after your workout can make some impressive muscle hypertrophy enhancement and repair that avoids pings, pops and all those gross kinda injuries that derail your training.
During exercise, muscle protein breakdown increases, and consuming protein post-workout can help counteract this breakdown while stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
Get those high-quality sources of protein like whey protein, milk, cottage cheese, eggs, lean meats, and fish, to provide the body with the necessary essential amino acids for protein biosynthesis.
Consume approximately 20-30 grams of protein.
Carbs are important for replenishing glycogen stores, which are depleted during exercise. Good sources of carbs include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid nasty white processed carbs, it's all sugar and a void of nutrition.
Aim for 30 to 40 grams of complex carbohydrates to refuel.
Some healthy fats can help you sustain that workout buzz and also aid in nutrient absorption. Aim for a small amount of healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds. And no, it ain't bird food.
In your post-workout meal, you may want to hit around 10-20 grams of healthy fats—providing you eat 2000 calories a day, with 25% to 35% of your total daily calories coming from fat.
These are potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium.
They are necessary for a ton of different bodily functions.
Wake up to ‘after workout fueling’ and get your potassium hit for proper muscle and nerve function—that means no muscle cramping.
Pack your cupboards with bananas, sweet potatoes, and spinach and let them do their magic on your body.
A powerhouse for energy metabolism and bone health, magnesium is found in almonds, spinach, and black beans.
Did you know? This vitamin is important for immune function and wound healing. And collagen synthesis isn't about just having fresh-looking skin, but about all-important muscle recovery and growth.
Get those citrus fruits, bell peppers, and broccoli stems in for hitting the Vit C bar and feeling the benefits.
The Best Post Workout Meals
Aim for nutritional powerhouse meals and food like this post workout, to help your body recover, heal, and replenish. These suggestions might seem lighter than you usually chow, but they're easily digested, fast-acting and all the goodness your body is screaming for post sweat.
Let's get to the best post-workout meals 'cause you don't need to live and die by the protein shake, y'all.
Whole grain toast with avocado and eggs
Whole grain toast provides complex carbohydrates, while avocado offers healthy fats. It's damn tasty too. Top it off with boiled or scrambled eggs for a protein hit.
This post-workout meal keeps you feeling fuller for longer, too with all that protein.
Quinoa salad with grilled chicken and vegetables
Yes - quinoa, if you don't love it, you'll learn to.
Cooked quinoa is a great post-workout meal source of protein and carbohydrates, while grilled chicken provides lean protein. For an even more nutritional punch, add veg like bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber.
Hummus and whole wheat pita with sliced veg
Hummus is a good source of plant-based protein and healthy fats. Whole wheat pita brings the carbs, and the sliced veg brings varied nutritional benefits. It's a light post-workout meal but hits the spot.
Grilled chicken with sweet potato and steamed vegetables
Grilled chicken is a lean source of protein, while sweet potatoes provide complex carbohydrates and fibre. Plus, steamed veg like green beans or broccoli hits the nutritional value out of the park.
Salmon with quinoa and roasted vegetables
A super delicious post-workout meal.
Gotta get that omega-3 fatty acids from salmon for great heart health and anti-inflammatory properties. Quinoa is a complete protein source and offers complex carbohydrates. Veg like asparagus and bell peppers bring essential vitamins and minerals.
Don't forget: Always slug your giant water bottle or sports drink around with you to replace those liquids lost pumping iron, too.
Best Post Workout Snacks
Don't want to eat big? Go small but mighty with the snacks of champions.
Greek yoghurt with mixed berries and almonds
Greek yoghurt is high in protein, while mixed berries provide antioxidants and fibre. Finish with a handful of almonds for protein and healthy fats.
Protein smoothie with banana and almond butter
A popular healthy post-workout snack and classic combo. Blend together a scoop of protein powder with a ripe banana, almond milk, and a spoonful of almond butter. This is the perfect smoothie, packed full of all the post-workout fuel your body needs.
Greek Yoghurt with Berries and Almonds
Greek yoghurt is a good source of protein and calcium. Adding fresh berries like strawberries makes it an antioxidant snack too. Almonds bring healthy fats and protein.
When Should You Eat? Timing is Everything...
Another important question. When are you supposed to eat after your workout?
In terms of what order to eat things, eat carbohydrates first, followed by protein after a workout.
This is because carbs help replenish glycogen stores and provide energy for your muscles, and protein does its muscle recovery and repair thing.
In terms of how much to chow, the recommended intake of carbohydrates and protein after a workout can vary based on factors such as body weight and exercise intensity.
- Carbs. Around three to five grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight post-workout.
- Protein. Aim for around 10 to 20 grams of protein post workout.
Always check with a registered dietitian or nutritionist first, who can give you bespoke advice.
When to Eat After Working Out?
And the answer is (*drum roll, please*)...within 30 to 60 minutes after the workout. If this isn’t possible, within two hours is an achievable timeframe that will help your recovery.
If a meal seems unrealistic in that time frame, make a snack.
Within 30 minutes to two hours
Eating during this window of time means your body is more efficient at replenishing glycogen stores and enhancing muscle protein synthesis.
Within one hour
This is the best time frame to eat after a workout because sources say it is ideal for maximizing recovery and muscle protein synthesis. This is 'cause of the "anabolic window," a period where your muscles are primed and most ready for nutrients to build, repair and grow.
Supplementing Your Gainz
Wanna get there quicker? Everyone from pros to amateurs hit the supplements to take care of muscle growth, recovery, and overall fitness behind the scenes.
Supplements aren’t designed to replace food, but they work in synergy with your body depending on what you want to achieve.
So which supplements will help you ace your workouts?
Fuel your gains with explosive weapons like protein powder, creatine, BCAAs, omega-3 fatty acids, and the mighty beta-alanine. These bad boys will boost your strength and muscle-building potential like nothing else!
But if you're more specific with what you need, listen up.
Want to blow up your muscles?
If you're busting your ass looking for fast muscle gains gym and need that rapid recovery, why not try supplements designed specifically to exceed even your bulk dreams.
A popular product is D-BAL which reduces muscle soreness, strips body fat and brings fast muscle gains all while increasing strength like never before.
How do you take it? Take three (3) capsules with water approximately 45 minutes after your workout. Bosh.
When diet and workouts aren't enough, strength supplements bring the rest.
For extreme strength try WINSOL. This formula sculpts your body, improves performance, and brings you the strength and intensity your workouts have never seen.
How do you take it? Take three (3) capsules with water, with your main meal of the day.
Get that lean muscle retention fast with Anvarol supplements. This unique formula gets to work on fat loss fast, boosts energy levels, and retains lean muscle all in one.
How to take it? Take three (3) capsules with water approximately 15 minutes after your workout.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are a class of compounds that interact with androgen receptors in the body, specifically targeting muscle and bone tissues.
Basically, they're legal and natural steroids without the nasty side effects.
Try IBUTA 677 and make your body pop. This product naturally increases DHD, promotes muscle fullness, supports fast recovery, balances mood and boosts vascularity.
All ups, no downs.
Customise your path to glory with bespoke supplements and sculpt, tone, and pack on solid muscle like there's no tomorrow.
It’s time to customise your path to glory with post-workout fuel and bespoke supplements to sculpt, tone, and pack on solid muscle like there's no tomorrow.
Are you ready to grab those gainz?
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