I was curious about what to eat AFTER a workout.
I found this on SPARKPEOPLE.
So what does the ideal meal or snack look like?
Calories. Ideally, try to eat
to equal 50% of the calories you burned during your workout. So if you
burn about 600 calories during your workout, try to eat 300 calories
Don’t worry about undoing the calorie-burning benefits of your workout–that’s not how weight loss works. As long as you're eating within your recommended calorie range (whether for weight loss or maintenance), you'll be on your way to reaching your goals.
Carbohydrates. Roughly 60% of the calories you eat at this time
should come from carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, your body
needs more carbohydrates than protein after a workout, to replace the
muscle fuel (glycogen) you used up and to prepare for your next exercise
session. Moderate exercisers need about 30-40 grams of carbohydrates
after an hour of exercise, but high-intensity exercisers need
more—around 50-60 grams for each hour they exercised.
If you have some favorite high-carb foods that are lacking in the whole grains and fiber that are often recommended as part of a healthy diet, this is a good time to have them! Your body can digest refined carbohydrates faster during your "refueling window," but if you’re a whole foods foodie, don’t force yourself to eat processed foods.
Protein. While carbs are essential, it’s also important to
include some high-quality protein in your post-workout meal or snack.
This protein will stop your body from breaking down muscle tissue for
energy and initiate the process of rebuilding and repairing your
muscles. About 25% of the calories you eat after a workout should come
from protein—that's about 10-15 grams for most people.
- Fat. Fat doesn't play a big role in post-workout recovery, and eating too much fat after a workout won't help your weight control or fitness endeavors. Only 15% (or less) of your post-workout calories should come from fat—that's less than 10 grams.
The ideal time to eat after a workout is within 30 minutes to two hours, when your body is ready and waiting to top off its fuel tanks to prepare for your next workout.
Here are some sample food combinations for your post exercise meal:
- Bread, a bagel, or an English muffin with cheese or peanut butter
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Fruit juice with cheese
- Yogurt with fruit
- Veggie omelet with toast or roll
- Chocolate milk
- Cereal with milk
- Eggs and toast
- Turkey, ham, chicken, or roast beef sandwich
- Vegetable stir-fry with chicken, shrimp, edamame or tofu
- Crackers with low fat cheese
- Rice or popcorn cakes with nut butter
- Smoothie (with milk, yogurt, or added protein powder)
- A protein or energy bar
- A protein or energy shake
- Pancakes and eggs
- Any regular meal that contains lean protein, starch, and vegetables