Why Should I Eat After a Workout? All About That Post Workout Nutrition!

By: Steffie Handley

Post workout nutrition is very important. A lot of people think that eating after a workout means that you’re just putting back on what you have only just lost – Nope, this is wrong.

Of course, if you do a workout and start eating tons of crisps and chocolate afterwards, it’s not going to have the best of outcomes, is it? With the right meals and nutrition, however, eating after a workout can be very beneficial.

Woman exercising

Why is it important to eat after a workout?

So, when you work out you use all of your glycogen (energy nutrient) as a type of fuel for muscular activity. This, in result, leaves your muscles deprived of the glycogen and without much energy left for normal function. It is also very common for protein stored in the muscles to be broken down, again decreasing the energy levels of your muscular tissues.

After a good workout, your body tries to restore the lost glycogen and protein nutrients. Eating the correct type of nutrients is what will help to regain these faster.

What are the benefits of eating after a workout?

Although you may still be thinking that eating after exercise is ridiculous, there are actually loads of benefits in doing this, which should make you re-consider your thoughts!

Common benefits of a post workout meal include:

  • Improved recovery – repair of damaged tissues that commonly occurs during a workout session
  • Increased muscle growth – this is due to an increase in protein synthesis
  • Decreased breakdown of protein – your body doesn’t need to use extra stored protein as energy as you will have re-fueled your body through your food
  • Restoration of glycogen stores
  • Increased energy

What types of food should I eat?

When I say ‘eat after a workout’ this doesn’t mean that you can pig out on chocolate, ice cream and products with high sugar/salt/fat intake!

There are 3 main types of foods you should eat after a workout: carbs, fat and protein. Yes, I really did say fat! Not all fats are bad especially when eaten within reason.

  • Carbs: These are useful in recovery following intense exercise. They help to restore all your glycogen nutrients that you used as fuel during your workout. An example of some foods containing carbs that you could eat include; sweet potato, pasta and rice cakes.

Pasta Salad

  • Fat: It is known for fat to slow down the absorption of nutrients in your post workout meal, however, it does not stop those nutrients from performing efficiently. Fat in combination with protein and carbs aids in muscle growth and glycogen restoration- Remember, fat should only be consumed in small amounts! Foods that contain fat you could eat include; nuts and avocado.

Healthy fats in avocado

  • Protein:  Protein is useful in the repair and growth of muscle. This is probably one of the main reasons people who go to the gym eat foods high in protein. Foods with high protein intake help to maximise recovery following intense exercise. An example of some foods containing protein include; eggs, chicken or your typical protein bar/shake.

Eggs as source of protein

So there you have it lovelies. Eating after exercise can be hugely beneficial when the right foods are eaten! Try it out after one of our Fierce Fit sessions and feel the benefits yourself

And if you want expertise and fierce consultation on post workout nutrition, leave a comment below. Our Fierce Fit team are here to answer all your questions!

Until next time,

Stay fierce ladies!

Steffie Handley

Steffie Handley

I graduated from University of central Lancashire with a social worker based degree, (Care, Community and Citizenship). I knew I wanted to help people but was unsure of which path to take, I found myself lost, I finished university and still not a clue what to do. During my time at university I no longer found time for physical activity, my love for food grew and my weight slowly crept up. I knew something had to change as I felt friends were moving on around me and I was stationary. This was the kickstart I needed to go on my fitness journey which has seen me shed over eight stone in weight, complete my first marathon in Geneva raising money for UNICEF, qualify as an Advanced Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor.

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