What To Eat After A Workout?

Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 at 11:34 am



Here’s a true story. 


A few years ago, I was in a gym working out, minding my own business. 


There were a few people there working out as well but one man in particular caught my attention.  


This large-bellied man was jogging on the treadmill and at the end of his machine on the floor was an unopened can of soda. 


I kept wondering if he was really going to drink that after his run. 


Sure enough, when he was done about thirty minutes or so later, he got off the machine, wrapped a towel around his neck, laboriously bent down to grab his soda, and with a loud sigh of relief opened his can and gulped it down.


WHAAAT?  I couldn’t believe my eyes. 


He just wasted all of his efforts in a matter of seconds and I just felt the need to approach him. 


After a brief dialogue, it turned out that a trainer once told him that he should take in some sugar after a workout because the body needs it.


Wow – talk about a twisted misinterpretation of the truth… which brings me to the point of this post.


Nourishing our bodies with healthy supportive meals is without a doubt important for achieving optimum health and it becomes increasingly important AFTER an intense workout. 


Many people believe they can eat whatever they want as long as they exercise and will often reward themselves with unhealthy treats. 


However, after the stress and muscular damage that results from exercise, the body needs the right building blocks to repair itself with.


After an intense resistance training session, there is a one hour window of opportunity to shuttle in the right nutrients for muscle repair and replenishment. 


The quicker you eat something the better, so you’ll want your post-workout meal to be easily and quickly absorbed by the body. 


This is the opportune time to consume a simple carbohydrate or a high glycemic food without having to worry about your blood sugar levels rising. 


Instead of the typical blood sugar spike that would normally occur with simple sugars, your body will use the simple sugars like those from fruits or fruit juices to replenish the muscle’s sugar stores. 


This of course does not mean that you should drink soda as a recovery drink as it is void of anything essential for optimum health and recovery. 


In addition to the simple sugar from a natural source, you’ll also want to ingest a source of protein like milk or whey protein to help repair the muscles.


After a cardio workout, it is better to wait 30-45 minutes before consuming a lean source of protein combined with a fibrous carbohydrate (vegetables) in order to benefit from what they call the workout’s “after-burn”. 


However, do not wait longer than an hour before eating something or else you’ll slow down your metabolism. 


As an example, you could have a grilled chicken breast with a mixed green salad or fish with steamed veggies. 


The choices are many.


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