Do you refuel after workouts? If not, you are leaving progress on the table. While post workout meals depends on several factors such as your goals, your workout, how your workout is placed in relation to your meals, most people benefit from a simple approach that I will describe below.
The role of post workout meal:
It is a part of your next workout. Recovery is important and if you don’t recover well, you don’t train well and you don’t progress as well.
It helps you avoid slump later after the workout. If you are not a pro athlete you have a life outside of gym. Exercise should enhance your life, not take from it. If you don’t have energy to enjoy life, you might reconsider your approach.
It is part of your overall nutrition plan. Hard training athletes need that extra energy and getting it soon after the workout helps you reach your athletic goals.
It is a chance to provide your body with extra minerals, vitamins, and liquids depleted during the workout. A simple protein shake does not do that.
It helps with body composition. If you want to lose weight, postworkout shake can help prevent you from getting ravenously hungry and overeat later. If you want to gain muscle, it helps you to get extra energy needed to build muscle.
Now that we’ve established the role of post-workout meal, here is when to include post workout shake into your routine:
The time between the end of the training and your next meal is over one hour. Especially if you did not fuel yourself during the training.
You have another session later in the day or you are in competition when you play several matches a day or on consecutive days.
You are trying to gain weight.
Post workout nutrition can have many forms, from liquid drinks that provide electrolytes and some carbs, to a full meal that provides carbs, proteins and fats.
I will focus on post workout meal ideas that will help you to prevent ravenous hunger later in the day, energize you, while helping you recover well in between training sessions.
Simple post workout snack:
Use this snack if you have more than an hour between finishing your training session and your next meal.
- 25-45g carbs
- 15-30g protein
That makes 160-230kcal. You want to ommit or reduce fats in your post workout snacks because they don’t contribute to quick recovery. Get fats in your main meals.
Examples of post workout snacks:
- Cottage cheese, skyr or plain Greek Yogurt with banana
- Tofu & berries cream
- Protein Nice cream
- Peanut butter & Jelly toast
- Protein yogurt with granola