So you’ve just finished your workout and you’re hungry. Real hungry! You know that the next 30-60 minutes are crucial to replenish your glycogen levels and prevent muscle breakdown. And you want to take advantage of your increase in insulin sensitivity which will help you to store protein rather than fat.
Ultimately, you want to recover, build muscle and be ready for your next workout, stat! But then the question arises - what should you actually eat?
What you should be going for
There are two things to keep in mind when deciding what to eat after a workout - fast digesting proteins and simple carbohydrates.
Fast digesting proteins are important given that speed is of the essence (30-60 minutes for optimal effect). Of course, it is also important to eat enough protein throughout the entirety of your day, not just after a workout! The most common fast digesting proteins are whey and egg whites - which explains why so many people drink protein shakes while walking out of the gym and the raw egg scenes in the Rocky movies!
In addition, simple carbohydrates are best eaten post-workout because your cells are more open to sugar due to their increased insulin sensitivity.
My Top 5 Post-Workout Foods
Here are my top five tips to optimise your post-workout munching!
- Vegan protein powder: Rice and Pea protein powders are the best for bioavailability, however whey protein powder with some fruit will also work.
- Green smoothies: these also contain proteins, albeit less.
- Fruits with nut butter: pair a pear with peanut or simply eat some fruit with some nuts… yummy!
- A combination of lean protein (chicken or fish) with stir-fried veggies and carbs (quinoa or rice): e.g. Tuna salad.
- Scrambled eggs with veggies
What are you currently eating post-workout? Does it include fast digesting proteins and simple carbohydrates?