Confused as to what to eat after your workout? Simply put: carbs and protein.
You should try your best to make sure you’re getting this meal in immediately after your workout. The maximum length of time I’d go is an hour, but ideally within 30 minutes of completing a workout. Personally, I eat this meal as I’m leaving the gym, but then again, I always have food with me. Can’t go around starving! That would do nothing for my muscles or my metabolism!
What Kind of Protein?
Liquid meals digest quicker than a solid food like chicken or tuna, and the whey protein powder is the fastest digesting form of protein out there. In the end, your muscles will be happier and thank you.
What Kind of Carbs?
First, you should know that not all carbs are bad, especially after working out. After your workout, carbs will help your body restore your glycogen levels that were depleted. Eating carbs will help build any muscle tissue that has been broken down.
Another thing to note: “good carbs” aka complex carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes) contain fiber and other nutrients that slow down digestion. After working out, you want something that will digest quickly. Simple carbs do this, which means foods like white potatoes, white rice, or white bread are great choices for a carb source after your workout.
Of course, it’s even better if you can get it in a liquid form! The abovementioned will definitely do the trick, but if you want something that’s fast-acting, then I’d suggest dextrose. Dextrose is a type of sugar that is usually found in sports drinks.
Yes, you can actually have sugar, but in your post workout meal, which is when your body can handle this! My choice of dextrose, however, is not a sports drink. Instead, if you ever see me leaving the gym, you’ll notice I’m snacking on gummy bears. That’s where I get my dextrose. (The red ones are my favorite!)
About an hour-and-a-half after having my post workout meal, I’ll eat my next meal, which – for me – is usually my second-to-last or last meal before I head to bed.