Last Tuesday, we sent you an email answering one of our most asked questions – what (and when) to eat before you work out. You can read that here if you missed it.
Today, let’s tackle the question…
“What should I eat after my workout to get the best results?”
– What you eat after your workouts matters because your muscles can run low on glycogen (fuel) and need to be refueled.
– PLUS, working out is a breakdown-and-rebuild process. When you lift weights, especially, the muscle fibers get micro-tears (hello soreness!). Consuming protein helps repair these tears and you come back even stronger, literally.
This means both CARBS to replace glycogen fuel and PROTEIN to repair broken muscle fibers are essential after you workout.
Eating the right combo of protein and carbs can help:
- Reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins
- Increase growth of muscle proteins
- Restore glycogen (fuel) to your muscles, and
- Improve your recovery so you’re fueled for your next workout
HOW MUCH of each (especially carbs) you need depends on what kind of workout you did.
Let’s start with the protein.
Some studies have shown that eating 20 to 40 grams of protein after your workout helps you recover faster (more if you’re bigger, less if you’re smaller).
From there, you can figure out how many carbs to add – usually between 2 to 3 times as many grams of carbs as protein.
- If you did an endurance-oriented workout (like cycling, running, or a cardio class), your muscles might be more depleted of their fuel than if you were just lifting weights. That means eating on the higher side of the carb ratio.
But it doesn’t have to be technical! Here are some ideas:
- Oatmeal with 1 scoop protein powder + ½ banana
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Protein shake with berries or banana (we recommend ATH Organics or Juice Plus+ protein powder from the gym)
- Chicken or salmon with sweet potato
- Whole grain toast with almond butter
- Fuel for Fire Smoothie pouches at the gym (contain fruit carbs + protein for refueling and repair)
After your workout is when your body uses nutrients like carbohydrates the most – so EAT UP ideally within 2 hrs post-workout!
You’ll not only feel (even more) awesome, but it will absolutely help your physique and performance goals.
Make it an amazing day,
Jessica & Team Valeo
We love Fuel for Fire Smoothies! They’re so convenient to grab from the gym fridge (members, just sign ’em out on the Supps Sheet and we’ll add to your account) and have a great balance of quick-acting carbs + protein for fuel and recovery.
PS – Have any nutrition or exercise questions? Our expert team of coaches and I would love to answer them. You can email us here: [email protected]
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