What is the best post workout meal? Ask a hundred different bodybuilders and you’ll get a hundred different answers.
Ask a hundred different joggers and you’ll get a hundred more.
What to eat after a workout has long been debated amongst fitness enthusiasts, with seemingly everyone having their own opinion on what works best. We decided to try and get to the bottom of it once and for all.
After you’ve grunted and groaned your way to a nice post-workout pump, there are certain foods that will help you maximise your gains. Below, we’ll go through them one at a time, to allow you to piece together the perfect post workout meal plan.
But first: pre-workout. Before you head into the gym, it’s important you have the right pre-workout for you.
BlackWolf is one such pre-workout; containing eleven supercharged ingredients selected for maximum energy, endurance and focus, it’ll ramp up your performance in the gym and see you working harder and getting better results than ever before.
Now—onto the post-workout meals!
Should you eat after a workout? The basics
In short: yes! To explain why in detail, first we need to look at how exercise impacts your body.
While you’re exercising, in order to fuel you, your muscles use up their glycogen stores, which leaves them depleted. In addition, proteins in your muscles are either fully or partially broken down.
This is why, post-workout, your body seeks to replenish its glycogen stores, and to repair or replace any broken down proteins. Naturally, this process takes time.
After your workout, consuming the right combination of nutrients enables your body to conduct these restorative measures quicker.
Protein and carbs after a workout are the most beneficial and important, aiding in processes including reducing damage to muscle protein, increasing muscle growth, replenishing glycogen stores, and shortening your overall recovery period.
What should I eat after a workout?
There are three main food groups you should be making sure you get plenty of after every workout.
Protein for muscle repair
Exercise causes the breakdown of muscle protein. The rate at which this occurs will vary based on your training level, however the process takes place even for experienced athletes.
After your workout, your body needs amino acids, which are used to repair the muscle proteins you’ve begun to break down. Amino acids are found in protein-rich foods (which we’ll list in detail a little later).
Roughly, you should be consuming between 0.1 and 0.2 grams of protein for every pound of your body weight after each workout.
Carbs for a speedy recovery
After a tough workout, your body’s glycogen levels will be low, and eating plenty of carbs post-meal works to refill these supplies.
The amount of carbohydrates you need to consume largely depends on the activity you’ve been doing.
If you’ve been doing high-cardio endurance activities like rowing, running, skipping or swimming, you’ll likely require more carbs to replace your body’s glycogen than somebody has been weightlifting.
To properly replenish your glycogen levels, you’ll want to be taking on around 0.6 grams of carbohydrates per pound of your body weight. If you’re working out twice in the same day, this is super important, although if it’s only a couple of times a week you’re working out, your body won’t feel the strain as much.
Don’t fear fats
There is no shortage of gym-loving types who run in fear from all kinds of fats, assuming it slows the uptake of nutrients and inhibits digestion.
Well, yes—fats may slow down the rate at which your post-workout meal is absorbed into your body. However, when it eventually is absorbed, it’ll be just as beneficial as ever.
This isn’t to say you should cram your body full of fatty foods—far from it! It does however mean that you don’t need to fret over a small amount of fat in your meals.
Getting the timing right of your post workout snack
After exercising, there’s a relatively short period where your body is able to replace glycogen and rebuild protein at an increased rate. It’s because of this that dietitians recommend eating soon after exercising, to maximise the impact on your recovery. Ideally, try to eat within three quarters of an hour of finishing your workout.
Studies have found, in fact, that if you eat a meal just two hours after your workout, your rate of glycogen replenishment will have dropped by as much as 50%. Handily, however, if you eat a meal just before you work out, you will receive the benefits of said meal in the aftermath of your workout. This can buy you time if you’re not about to eat inside that 45 minute window!
Post workout meals: the best foods for recovery
Foods that are easy to digest act faster to revitalise you and repair your muscles. When you’re choosing post-workout snacks, make sure to consider these:
Protein rich foods
Eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, chicken, salmon, tuna, protein bars, protein powder
Chocolate milk, sweet potato, quinoa, fruit, rice, potatoes, wholemeal pasta, green vegetables
Fortunately for us, these foods are all delicious, and many of them go amazingly well together. Combine them as you please, and don’t be afraid to get experimental!
Also Read: What does pre-workout do?
And don’t forget: your body craves water constantly! Drink it before, during and after your workout in order to maintain a proper hydration level, which enables your body to function at its best and recover in no time.
The bottom line
As long as you’re combining the above food groups and balancing them out, and are eating them within 45 minutes of your workout, you’re on the right track. Be sure to drink plenty of water and rest!
If you’re taking your BlackWolf pre-workout, hitting the gym as hard as you can, then rewarding your body with a nourishing post-workout meal, you’ll be shredded in no time at all. Getting into the best shape of your life has never been so doable!