It’s all too easy to waste a great workout by not eating correctly after it. What you eat at the end of your training session determines how much your body adapts and grows stronger, as well as ensuring your body recovers properly.
So what do you need to eat after exercise for the best recovery?
Here is a quick guide to how much and what you should be eating post exercise.
Are you refuelling right?
What you eat after exercise is key to ensuring your body recovers and grows stronger. Post-workout your body needs to:
- Replenish its energy stores (glycogen)
- Repair and grow muscles
So maximise exercise recovery by eating protein and carbohydrates within one hour of exercise.
Current Research (The Geeky Bit)
Previously, glycogen stores were thought to be best restored with just carbs. Now it’s thought you can reduce carbs and increase protein and still maximise glycogen recovery.
How much to eat?
- 0.9 g/kg/hr of carbs
- 0.3 g/kg/hr of protein
So for a 70kg person after an hour of exercise:
- 63g of carbs
- 21g of protein
Ref: Margolis et al 2021 (MSSE)
What foods to eat after exercise?
- Wholegrain bread
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals (including some cereal bars)
- Brown rice
- Wholewheat pasta
- Potatoes (with skins on)
- Fruit, including dried and tinned fruit
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Cheese, yoghurt and milk
- Fish, including oily fish like salmon or mackerel
- Tofu, tempeh and other plant-based meat-alternatives
- Lean cuts of meat and mince
- Chicken and other poultry