Post-workout: What to eat?
What should I eat after exercising?
What you eat after exercising depends on the time and intensity of your workout. If exercising lightly for less than a half hour no snacks or meals need to be eaten. However, if your exercise routine is rigorous and lasts for more than 45 minutes, then eating a snack or light meal will help your body recover. This “recovery” meal helps replenish the carbohydrates burned during exercise and puts them into storage form for later use. Adding protein to the meal or snack helps rebuild muscle tears that happen during exercise. Timing and what you eat are also important. A rule of thumb is to eat within an hour of completing your exercise. Eating carbohydrates coupled with a small amount of protein will maximize your recovery time.
Simple post-workout snacks
Examples of simple post-workout snacks include trail mix (cereal, nuts and dried fruit) and water, or string cheese and a fruit bar with water. If you’re eating a meal after exercising, it is important to maintain the carbohydrate-to-protein ratio.
Good post workout-meals
Good meal examples include pasta with chicken and a side of veggies or a lean deli meat sandwich on whole grain bread with a side of fruit. Eating after your workout can prevent fatigue and injuries due to overuse.
For further information on eating after you have exercised see the following articles from TheDietChannel: Sports Nutrition: 8 Nutritious Ways to Maximize Your Workout, Maximize Your Workout With Protein & Nutrition Timing and Re-Build Your Body After A Strenuous Workout With Food.
|Dena McDowell, MS, RD
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