Eating After Exercise

Eating after exercise is just as important as eating before exercise. 

While eating before helps fuel your body for your workout, your post workout meal helps rebuild the nutrients your body needs. 

When exercising, you can cause small tears in the muscles. 

Additionally you are depleting the glucogen levels in your body.

So what you eat after workouts is important for repairing the muscles and bringing back glucose in your muscles and body.

What and When to Eat After Exercise

What to eat after a workout depends on if you are a competitive athlete or just a casual exerciser.  For athletes or those who exercise more than 3 times a week, you need to replace glycogen stores in your body. 

woman on treadmillThis is critical to ensure that your body is ready for the next workout and eating after exercise is the way to replenish what your body needs.

Even if you are a casual exerciser and will more than likely restore glucose levels prior to your next workout, you will still want to eat after you workout to help repair muscles. 

You want to eat carbohydrates to help rebuild the glycogen levels to your muscles within at least 30 minutes after exercise. 

Some amount of protein is also beneficial for helping repair muscles that may have been damaged during exercise. 

Don’t forget to re-hydrate as well.  Just as important as carbs and protein is your water intake.  Be sure to drink 1 to 2 glasses of water shortly after your exercise. 

You should hydrate before your exercise routine as well.  If you are working out longer than 30 minutes, then you will need to stay hydrated during your workout as well.

Here are some suggestions for foods you can eat after exercising.
  • Whole wheat bagel with cheese or peanut butter.
  • Fruit and cottage cheese
  • Sandwich with lean lunch meat like turkey, ham or roast beef
  • Crackers and low fat cheese
  • Eggs and toast
  • Smoothie with protein powder or yogurt

Or simply plan your exercise to end 30 minutes prior to your next meal and have a full meal with carbohydrates and protein.  

Eating after exercise is only one step in your eating so be sure to check out what to eat before you workout.

Additional Articles

Calories Burned During Exercise
Find out how to calculate calories burned for your workouts. Understanding this formula can help you select a workout to meet your calorie burn needs.

Exercise Calorie Calculator
Use this free online exercise calculator to see how many calories you burned during your wokout.

Exercise Myths
Don't believe everything you hear about exercising. Find out fact from fiction about exercise.