These are frequent questions I hear by many of my clients…
Should I eat after a workout?
How long should I wait to eat after my workout?
What should I eat post workout?
How much should I eat etc…
These are all very good questions and here are some very good answers…
1. Should I eat after a workout?
You should ABSOLUTELY EAT … post workout nutrition is one of the most important meals to eat! You want to get nutrients to your body as soon as possible so your body can begin to repair the muscles and begin to restore nutrients back into the body.
2. How long should I wait to eat after my workout?
In a perfect scenario you would eat 15 – 30 minutes after. This gives your body a little time to cool down and relax (especially if the workout is really intense), but don’t wait to long according to the New York Times Well Blog, those first 15 minutes are crucial: “the enzymes that help the body re synthesize muscle glycogen are really most active in that first 15 minutes. The longer we wait to eat something, the longer it takes to recover.”
3. What should I eat post workout?
You need to consume a protein and a carbohydrate. Eating about 4-8 oz of a lean protein (i.e chicken breast, turkey, pork, or fish) and 40 – 80 grams of carbohydrates (i.e sweet potato, yucca, spaghetti squash, Beets Butternut squash Carrots Plantain Rutabaga, Turnip)
You can also drink a recovery shake like an SFH Recovery drink with coconut water or water. Just remember that is always much more beneficial to eat real foods if you can.
Make sure to avoid fats post workout as it causes the stomach to empty at a slower rate which is counter intuitive to what we want to happen. Save the fat for before your workout.
4. How much should I eat?
This is different for each individual and their goals depending on their level, volume, and consistency of their training. My suggestion is to start with the ratios above and if you are still feeling really sore, tired, under recovered maybe up the carbohydrate just a bit and same if you are feeling full and sluggish maybe lower the carb and or protein intake.
The more you journal your food the more accurate you can see your results and really hone in on how you are feeling.
Now you have the tools and knowledge to continue to feel better and better for years to come!