You often hear that you should eat after your workout. But most importantly, what should you be eating? 

You might think a protein shake is all you need. However, there’s more to it than that. So, how should you plan your post-workout meal? What should you be aware of? What should it include?

Let’s take a closer look!

Include Carbohydrates…

… yet, make sure you choose the healthy kinds! 

Contrary to popular belief, carbs aren’t your enemy. In fact, after a tough workout, you need them. These guys are your best friends when it comes to refueling and recovery. 

If you did your workout right, your muscles likely depleted their glycogen stores. Eating both carbohydrates and protein can help your muscles refill up these stores, so that they recover faster and better. After all, no one likes to feel super sore the next day or two after an exercise session. Eating helps your body prevent this.

For endurance exercises, you’ll want to consume more carbs post-workout. Why? Because your body uses more glycogen for endurance workouts than it would for strength workouts

Aim for around 0.5 to 0.7 grams of carb per pound of body weight. Do this within about 30-60 minutes after training and you’ll recover better! And don’t worry – we’ll get around to the types of carbs you should be consuming in more detail below.

And Yes, Throw in Some Protein

Your body needs protein to repair muscles. When you exercise, small tears are created within the muscle tissue. By consuming protein after your workout, you give your body the necessary amino acids to rebuild. Thus, you come back stronger and better than you were before.

The recommended amount of protein to consume after a workout equates to approximately 0.14-0.23 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. Usually, this amounts to about 20-40 grams. 

And interestingly, glycogen stores replenish better when carbs and protein are consumed together post-workout. 

The recommended ratio of consumption for each of these is about 3:1 when it comes to carbs to protein. Further, including a bit of fat isn’t a bad thing either. In other words, throwing something like half an avocado into the mix won’t hinder your recovery.

So, What Should You Eat?

Whenever you’re in doubt of what you should eat, turn to whole foods. For carbohydrates, choose options such as:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits
  • Oats

And try these for a bit of protein:

  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chicken
  • Cottage cheese
  • Tuna
  • Salmon

And then, mix and match them:

  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • Greek yogurt and oats
  • Eggs and sweet potatoes
  • Fruit and cottage cheese
  • Quinoa and salmon or chicken
  • Sweet potatoes and salmon or chicken

You get the idea! And get creative with your spices or types of fruit. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. And if you’re still unsure, check out the Duwe Fitness Nutritional Guide – or better yet, grab our recipe book. Discover all new healthy recipes that your whole family will love. Inspire change in not only yourself, but others too. Keep pushing to improve. Your post-workout meal is part of that. Improve your recovery and you’ll significantly improve your performance. Become healthier and happier – start today.