What you should eat post-workout

Just like Pre-workout nutrition, post-workout nutrition is all about fueling the body to support your activities, workouts, training sessions etc. The biggest difference here is obviously that you’re trying to recover post workout rather than fueling yourself going into a workout. Although you’re eating after your efforts in the gym, it’s important to realize that you’re still (re)fueling your body. All parts of your nutrition are important but you could definitely argue that your post workout nutrition is the most important part of all. No matter what type of sport, style of fitness or other form of working out you do, the basics of our post workout nutrition will be the same. I always preach that every activity and body need different things, not when it comes to the basics of your post workout nutrition. If you dive past the basics you will find the finer details and differences in nutrition relative to your sports/fitness activities and body.

The basics

When it comes to fitness related nutrition, protein will always, ALWAYS be our main priority. It’s probably not going to have the most significant impact when you look at your total number of macronutrients for the day, but it will have the most positive impact on your recovery. It’s so easy to add fats and carbs into your nutrition, protein is a little bit harder to come by for most. Because it’s easier to miss out on the right amount of protein that’s so beneficial to our recovery we need to keep an extra eye on that.

Why is protein our main priority?

No matter what physical activity you get into, your muscles need protein (and the amino acids that make up the protein) to build themselves back up again. That’s how our body gets stronger, we damage our muscles and recover afterwards. In that recovery period, your muscle builds itself up again day by day. Each time it gets a little bit stronger because of the damage it took during the last training effort and your body wants, can and will adjust to that.

Carbs & Fats, why are they important?

As important as protein is it will never be enough to re-energize and re-fuel your body completely, simply because it’s not a fuel source. This is where carbs and fats come in. Fats and carbs are the fuel sources our body uses throughout the day to get and keep your body moving. Depending on your lifestyle and activities it will dictate what your body needs to re-fuel and recover. For most people the easy option/solution for post workout nutrition is a good mix of protein and carbs. Proteins for the muscle recovery and carbs to balance out the carbs lost during your activity while regaining energy. Carbs are a fast-working fuel source that’s why it’s so popular for people to mix in to their post-workout nutrition. Fats on the other hand are a slow acting fuel source that’s why it not as popular among the fitness community.

Am I able to recover while doing keto or another low carb diet?

Am I able to add fats to my post-workout nutrition I hear you ask? Of course, remember, at the end of the day it’s your body and nutrition. You’re the one who knows your body best. If your body reacts well to high fat post workout nutrition, who am I to say that you shouldn’t be doing that. This is why protein is the constant when it comes to post-workout nutrition. I would recommend most people to eat some carbs post workout to help speed up recovery even if you’re on a keto diet. If you’re on a low to medium carb diet you can still save those carbs for your post workout meal. As some of you know I am living a carb cycling lifestyle, I basically load up all of my carbs after my workouts are done.

So what is the right balance during my post-workout meal?

For most people I’d recommend a daily average of 50-55%fat, 30-35%protein, 10-20% carbohydrates. For your post workout meals, I’d recommend using up most of your carbohydrates for the day, about 30% of your daily protein intake and anywhere between 5-20% of your overall fat intake.

Again, this is what I do personally and it makes me feel good so it’s easy for me to recommend that to a lot people. Your body might react differently. Try out different combinations and foods for your own daily/ post-workout nutrition, see what makes you feel good and what makes you recover well.

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Categories: health, nutrition, post workout nutrition, workoutTags: , , , , ,

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