Whether you’ve already made it a habit or you’re just getting started, diet is an important part of any fitness journey. Fueling your body with healthy foods before a workout can give you energy to do your best and the foods you put on your plate after each workout can affect how your body processes the activity. The best foods to eat post workout are going to support recovery and muscle building.
Why Is Post-Workout Food Important?
Your muscles use stored glycogen to provide energy during exercise, depleting your body’s stores. After, the body needs to restore its glycogen stores to replace the nutrients it loses during exercise. Then the body can efficiently recover from the workout, including repairing damaged tissues and synthesizing muscle protein so that the muscles can grow and strengthen.
If you’ve been exercising regularly but aren’t seeing any changes in appearance or how you feel overall, the problem might be what you’re eating after your workout. So what should you eat after a workout to build muscle? What’s the best meal to eat after a workout? What about the best snacks to eat after a workout?
Keep reading for a few pointers on what you should be eating after your workouts to ensure you reach your goals. Here are our recommendations for some of the best foods to eat post workout.
What to Eat after a Workout to Build Muscle
The best foods to eat post workout usually consist of healthy carbs and protein to (x):
- Reduce muscle protein breakdown
- Increase muscle protein synthesis and growth
- Restore glycogen stores
- Enhance muscle recovery
Studies suggest that protein and carbohydrates after a workout can help increase lean body mass and also replenish glycogen stores, especially in active individuals (x). Carbohydrates may help your muscles recover from a strenuous workout faster than they would without them. Endurance exercises—like running and swimming, for example—use more glycogen than resistance exercise, like weight training. If you engage in a lot of endurance exercise, it’s especially important to eat meals after your workout that are high in carbs in order to replenish glycogen stores. Foods that contain healthy carbs include fruit, quinoa, oats, potatoes pasta, rice or leafy green vegetables (x).
Protein is another one of the best foods to eat post workout. Besides water, the body is mostly made up of protein. In fact, experts often refer to it as the “building block” of the body because it makes up the hair, nails, bones, skin, organs and muscles (x). Proteins also provide vital amino acids that the body needs to stay healthy. Eating protein after your workout can help repair damaged tissue and build the muscles (x).
So what’s the best protein to eat after a workout? Foods that contain whey, casein and soy proteins are great to eat after a workout. Consider looking into more foods containing these nutrients to help support muscle building and muscle recovery.
Carbs and Protein
Given the benefits that carbs and proteins provide on their own, you can assume that it’s a good idea to pack them both into your post-workout meals. These are two of the best foods to eat post workout alone and together they can have an even better effect on your exercise recovery and your overall health.
Insulin secretion plays a role in powering glycogen synthesis after exercise and the process may be more efficient with both carbs and protein. Eating carbs and protein together can increase protein and glycogen synthesis, providing more energy to the body and helping the muscles heal after a strenuous workout (x). If you need more ideas, here are some easy ways to add more protein to your diet.
What about Fats?
It may sound a little strange to eat fat after a workout, but healthy fats are a different story because your body can use healthy fats for energy, especially before exercise. However, fats may not be one of the best foods to eat post workout. You want to restore nutrients to your muscles quickly after exercise, but fats may slow down absorption and potentially affect muscle recovery.
But this doesn’t mean you have to avoid fats completely. You just may want to limit fats and focus more on carbs and protein in your post-workout meals (x). Here are some healthy options to snack on after a workout.
Try Post Workout Supplements for Recovery
If you’re looking for additional ways to boost recovery after a workout, you can alsi try dietary supplements. You can add them to smoothies or milkshakes for a quick and delicious post-workout snack. Try out our Whey Protein Antioxidant Smoothie!
These supplements may mimic the body’s natural properties that fuel exercise recovery and muscle-building. Here are some common post-workout supplements:
- Creatine – A natural substance in the muscle cells used for energy production.
- BCAAs – A group of essential amino acids that may help reduce protein breakdown.
- Beta alanine – A natural amino acid in the muscles that may prevent fatigue.
- Whey protein – A type of milk protein that may improve muscle function and reduce muscle recovery time.
- L-citrulline – An amino acid that plays a role in oxygen flow during exercise and reducing muscle soreness after workouts.
However, be sure to consult a doctor before taking any post workout supplements to make sure what you’re taking is right for you and your current health. These supplements, again, may mimic the body’s natural properties, but they are not intended to cure, treat or prevent any disease, illness or injury on their own.
Where to Buy Post Workout Supplements
Are you interested in trying post workout supplements for quick muscle recovery and growth? You can purchase any of these supplements at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. Visit BulkSupplements.com to place an order today!
What you eat post workout is just as important as what you do during your workout. It’s important to include foods and nutrients in your diet that compliment your workout. Some of the best foods to eat post workout for recovery include whole foods with healthy carbs and proteins may help boost your muscles and strength and ultimately lead to better workouts in the future.
You can also take post-workout supplements to help support muscle strength and reduce soreness. Some common post-workout supplements include creatine, BCAAs, beta alanine, whey protein and L-citrulline. Mix them into smoothies or milkshakes for a quick and delicious post-workout snack. Be sure to consult a doctor before taking dietary supplements to make sure they fit into your current health regime.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.