Best Nutrition for Workout Recovery

Best post workout foods for recovery
When you’re working out, your muscles consume their source of fuel – glycogen – especially during high-intensity exercises. Some of the proteins in your muscles can also be damaged.


After the workout, the body tries to build up its glycogen and proteins stores. This is why eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help the body get this done faster. It can also help stimulate new muscle growth.



What to eat post-workout

Protein, carbs, and fat
It’s especially important to eat proteins and carbs after your workout.  These nutrients are important, as they are involved in your body’s post-workout recovery process. Ideally, consume a ratio of 3 to 1 carbs to protein within 30 minutes – 2 hours after workout.


Protein helps build muscle and repair tissue
Consuming quality proteins soon after a work-out gives the body the amino acids it needs to rebuild these protein and help build new muscle tissue.
It’s recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) as soon as possible after a workout.
Studies have shown that eating 20–40 grams of protein seems to be the ideal quantity to maximize the body’s ability to recover after exercise.


Carbs help with recovery
Consuming carbs after workouts help replenish the body’s glycogen stores.
If you participate in endurance sports (running, swimming, triathlon), you may need to eat more carbs than someone practicing yoga or pilates.
You should ideally consume 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound (1.1–1.5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes – 2 hours after workouts to help maximize the results.

What should you eat to fuel post-workout recovery?

  • rice
  • quinoa
  • oatmeal
  • potatoes
  • pasta
  • whole grain bread
  • edamame
  • chocolate milk
  • fruits (such as bananas, berries, apples, cherries, pineapples, grapes)
  • whole eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • cottage cheese
  • ricotta
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • chicken
  • animal- or plant-based protein powder
  • protein bars
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  • avocado
  • nuts & seeds
  • trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)
  • nut butters
  • other healthy vegetable oils (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil etc)


Equally important for workout recovery, prioritize rest

Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night is crucial, and getting quality sleep is equally important, especially if you had intense or long workouts.
Quality sleep is important particularly if you are looking to change the body composition and increase the muscle mass. Sleep enhances muscle recovery by releasing protein-building amino acids into the bloodstream at an increased rate which helps accelerate the building of new muscles and tissues.

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