May we realize it or not, what you eat after a workout can have a large impact on muscle growth and energy levels. There are many rumours and misconceptions about post workout nutrition, but it is a fact that there are many nutrients needed to maintain muscle growth and satisfying your energy stores.
What are the best foods to eat after a workout?
After a workout, the most important nutrient considerations are protein and carbohydrates. These nutrients can be found in many foods, and will significantly help with giving you energy (carbohydrates) and muscle repair/formation (protein). Although not a nutrient, water is also an extremely important consideration not only during your workout, but post-workout nutrition as well. A lot of water is lost through our body through sweat and other body functions, so drinking lots of water to prevent dehydration is essential.
For example, foods that are rich in carbohydrates are whole grains, legumes, whole fruits, or starchy vegetables. Foods that are good sources of protein are meat products, nuts, dairy products, and legumes. It is advised to eat a post workout snack around 30 minutes post workout. Here are some examples of some healthy post-workout snacks depending on your appetite and dietary needs:
- Chocolate milk
- Tuna and whole grain crackers
- Hard boiled eggs with toast
- Greek yogurt smoothie with fruitEating adequate amounts of these foods can help your body significantly, but the amount is subject to your appetite, body size, and level of exercise intensity. To understand your individual needs, it is advised to see a dietitian to help guide you in this process.