It’s little secret that exercise of any kind is super excellent for us. But, how we fuel our body
after exercise matters too!
Getting the right nutrients after a workout can help our bodies better replenish our energy
stores, repair any exercise-induced damage and grow our bones and tissues. This makes us
more efficient and effective exercisers next time around.
So, what type of fuel is the right type of fuel? Read on!
Power up with protein
A hit of protein in the hour or two after your workout gives your body the amino acids it
needs to build and repair the proteins that are naturally damaged or broken-down during
This is particularly important if you’re looking to build muscle mass (aka hypertrophy) and
strength. Whey-based protein powder in your favourite smoothie is known to do wonders here, though
vegan alternatives still have great benefits.
Other protein sources include lean meats like chicken or fish, tofu, a couple of boiled eggs or
a small bowl of Greek yoghurt.
Recover with (some) carbs
During a workout, particularly anything at a high intensity, your body will use up its precious
glycogen stores before it starts to burn other things for energy, like carbs and fatty acids.
It’s important to give your body some carbs to replenish its glycogen stores, particularly after
an intense workout. In fact, consuming both carbs and protein together after exercise is
thought to maximise both protein and glycogen synthesis.
But, that doesn’t mean reaching for a piece of cake or a donut to get the hit. Instead, opt for
more complex sources like vegetables (some roasted sweet potato will do the trick), fresh
fruits (like a good ol’ banana), grains (like quinoa or a slice of whole grain bread) or a bowl
When it comes to fat
It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you consume after exercise, because fat
does tend to slow down digestion. That said, having some fat in your post-workout meal
shouldn’t really affect your recovery.
Avocado, nuts, nut butters and seeds are good sources of healthy fats you might turn to.