The Importance of Post Workout Nutrition

March 18, 2022

It's important to eat an appropriate amount of carbs and protein after exercising. In this article, we'll explore how doing so stimulates muscle protein synthesis and promotes recovery while enhancing your future performance.

Your body needs fuel – but it needs water too

It's vital never to go more than a few hours between refuels. That just means you need to have a proper meal or even a snack, depending on the circumstances. In addition to food, your body also needs hydration. You must replace the water and electrolytes you lose during your workout if you're to maximize the benefits of your efforts at the gym or on a run, for instance.

Although we're going to concentrate on food in this article, remember that you lost water and electrolytes during exercise. Putting these back in your body will not only help you recover after a workout, but it'll also promote good performance every time you visit the gym – so develop good habits.


Post-Workout Nutrition: What Should You Eat After a Workout?

Planning what you eat is just as important as planning your exercise. In addition, it's important to remember that the food you consume after a workout is just as crucial as the food you eat before.

Your muscles use glycogen when you work out, and you can lose natural proteins in muscle tissue too. Post-workout, your body needs the right fuel to replenish glycogen – and carbs are essential for that process. You also need carbs to gain new muscle mass – but they're not all you need. Here's how it works.

Protein: It's not just carbs. After a workout, you'll need a mix of macronutrients to get maximum effects from your exercise routine. Amino acids in protein do the job of repairing and building muscles. 

Carbs: As we've heard, your body uses up glycogen reserves as fuel during exercise. You can only adequately replace lost glycogen if you eat carbs after the gym. Depending on what activity you do, you may need to adjust your carb intake to account for that. Some activities, like running or swimming, burn up glycogen faster than weightlifting or competitive bodybuilding, for example.

Fat: While it's true that eating fat slows down digestion, doing so after a workout won't remove any of the benefits of what you consume. Some studies show that muscle glycogen production is unaffected by even a high-fat meal (containing 45% energy as fat) after working out.

Macronutrients and Your Post-Workout Meals

Any good post-workout meal will be tailored to your own personal fitness goals and your activity. However, you can start exploring the best after gym meals by eating a 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein. Here at the personal training studio in Richmond, BC, we can help you design a complete meal plan, including fully tailored post-workout solutions via nutritional coaching

When Should I Eat After A Workout?

Timing is everything, and it's no different when it comes to post-workout meals. Immediately after working out, your body's capacity for rebuilding glycogen and replenishing proteins is at its maximum.

That's why at the personal training studio in Richmond, we highly recommend you consume the right formula carbs and protein as quickly as possible after a workout session.

Suppose you really can't stomach a meal soon after working out, and not everyone enjoys eating after the gym. In that case, research suggests that a meal with a high carb element consumed within an hour before a session can provide similar effects to a post-workout meal.


What foods should I eat after working out?

When you eat post-workout, the goal is to give your body the materials it requires to aid recovery and maximize workout goals. Here's a list of foods that are rich in the correct elements for doing that: 

1. Easily digestible, carb-rich foods:
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits, like berries, pineapples, bananas and kiwi
  • Rice cakes
  • Boiled rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pasta
2. Protein-Rich, Convenient Post-workout Foods:
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Protein powder
  • Eggs
  • Protein bars
  • Tuna
3. Healthy Fats to Eat for Post-Workout Meals:
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Trail mix

Post-Workout Meal Ideas From Personal Trainers in Richmond, BC:

Need some inspiration? No problem, here at BLK BOX Gym, we help hundreds of fitness enthusiasts design workable, convenient and tasty post-workout solutions that really get results.

9 Post-Workout Meals & Snacks You Should Try
  • Oatmeal is a go-to for many busy athletes and works great with fruits, nuts or even whey protein
  • Pita and hummus is a simple option for when you're too busy to cook
  • Good old peanut butter on rice crackers is a quick, easy post-workout snack
  • Don't forget cereal. It's a great source of energy, vitamins and minerals after the gym
  • There's nothing wrong with a convenient, quick protein shake when you're on the move
  • ‍Try grilled chicken with rice and roasted vegetables
  • Egg omelettes are quick, and they go great with avocado spread and whole-grain toast
  • Salmon is fast to prepare and tastes fantastic with sweet potato
  • ‍Try a quick tuna salad sandwich using whole grain bread
Personal Training Studio in Richmond, BC: Finding your Ideal Post-Workout Meal

The mechanics of food and muscle building can be complex, and results are specific to individuals. That's why it's essential to get some good meal prep advice before you decide on how you diet and plan your post-workout meals. The right steps and an optimized plan can produce huge benefits in conjunction with a carefully designed workout routine, so please don't hesitate to give the friendly team at BLK BOX gym here in Richmond, BC a call at 604-370-8775!

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Written by

Ken Lu

Ken has a Bachelor's Degree of Psychology from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Sport Psychology. As well as being a Certified Personal Trainer, Ken is also a Movement & Mobility Specialist, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has trained for and won the 2018 NPAA BC Men's Physique Championship.