What You Should Eat After A Workout

Choosing what you eat before a workout is important because what you put into your body will provide you with the fuel you need to engage in rigorous physical activity and help you perform at your best. Healthline suggests eating light items such as Greek yogurt or a piece of fruit if you are working out within the hour. And if your workout is a few hours away, substantial options such as a sandwich with whole grain bread and lean protein or an omelette with some fruit are good options.

But what about after your workout? Is it important to eat something? According to Medical News Today, it is, in fact, vital to your health that you eat within 15 to 30 minutes after finishing your workout. This is because you've just expended a lot of energy and the body needs to be replenished, despite whatever you fueled up with beforehand. 

What you specifically choose to eat after your workout is also key, so it's a good idea to be prepared ahead of time and have your post-workout fuel at the ready.

What you should eat for the best recovery

According to Verywell Fit, research has shown that eating carbohydrates along with protein right after exercising is the best way to maximize what is called muscle glycogen synthesis, or the replenishment of energy to your muscles. So, don't skip a meal after a workout — otherwise you will undermine your ability to rebuild muscle and repair tissue damage.

For an easy post-workout refuel, Verywell Fit suggests keeping low cost foods in your kitchen, such as yogurt, fruit, chocolate milk, and nut butter. If you have the time to build more of a meal, they recommend a one-skillet scramble with one egg white, along with some healthy add-ins, such as sweet potatoes and veggies. Or, blend your favorite fruits with some nut butter or protein powder for a healthy and satisfying power smoothie. And if it's closer to lunch time, four ounces of albacore tuna on a slice of whole grain toast is an excellent option after a workout.

And don't forget, just as important as eating after your workout is staying hydrated. Drinking water is the obvious choice, but if you're looking for a little flavor, before you grab that sugary sports drink, Eating Well recommends you go for nonfat chocolate milk for a one-stop shop protein, carbohydrate, and hydration boost.