Working out at home or in the gym is an important way to stay healthy. But what you put into your body afterwards is just as important. Before you start thinking about what to eat, it’s important to understand what happens to your body during a workout.
When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged. After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins (1). Eating the right foods with the right nutrients can help your body speed up this process.
What types of foods should you be consuming post-workout and how soon after a workout should you eat? According to Healthline, Proteins and Carbs. They each play a vital role in helping the body repair and heal post-workout. Proteins help to repair and build muscle. Carbs assist with the overall recovery process. Fat – in moderation – can also assist in the overall recovery process. Research suggests it is best to eat within 45-minutes of a workout.
Food Inspiration courtesy of Healthline:
- Sweet potatoes
- Chocolate milk
- Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
- Rice cakes
- Dark, leafy green vegetables
- Animal- or plant-based protein powder
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Protein bar
- Nut butters
- Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)