Eating after a workout is a great way to maximize the benefits of your workout while also extracting as much of the health benefits from the food itself. Most studies suggest eating within 30 minutes of completing a workout, and a maximum of 2 hours, after a workout. When we exercise, we might have different goals. You might want to build muscle, increase flexibility, get stronger or faster, and/or lose fat. Multiple studies have examined what to eat and drink after a workout, but the main things to remember? Consume protein and plenty of water, as those provide the most benefits.
We present to you a list of the 5 best things to eat or drink after a workout, to help you with your health and fitness goals!
There are several types of protein powder, and countless brands and options out there. Typically, for a post-workout drink, it is best to go with a whey isolate protein drink because it gets into the bloodstream quickly. You'll want to consume it within 30 minutes of working out, to give your muscles the protein they need. Go with a lower-carb option that is low in sugar but has at least 20 grams of protein per serving. This is a quick and easy thing to eat after a workout, especially if you make it with a protein-rich milk.
Greek yogurt is naturally high in casein protein, which can take around 6 to 8 hours to digest. It's often advised to eat it before bed so that your body has a steady source of protein throughout the night until you eat in the morning. Working out earlier in the day? No sweat. Go ahead and have that Greek yogurt if that's what you've got handy. Greek yogurt is high in protein, and if you drink water with it, or blend it with milk or water, it can be absorbed more quickly.
No, this is not a time to start drinking raw eggs as they did in movies of yesteryear (Sorry, Sylvester Stallone!) We're advocating for cooked eggs, whether boiled, in an egg cooker, in the oven, on the stovetop, or even in the microwave. Eating cooked eggs comes with a slew of amazing health benefits; it's a simple source of protein and amino acids. Many studies have suggested consuming at least 3 eggs during a post-workout meal will increase muscle growth. (You may even find bodybuilders advocating more than this, but we will leave that up to each individual to decide.)
Everyone's favorite nut butter (ok, maybe not everyone, but....) is such a good go-to protein source. Peanut butter has a decent amount of protein and amino acids. When it's paired with some carbohydrates it can help build muscle and refuel your glycogen levels. Make sure to drink water or milk with peanut butter after a workout; your body will absorb it faster. Almond butter is a great alternative. Try these no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars for an awesome post-workout snack (or healthy dessert).
Whether this meat source is from fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc., consuming meat after a workout will promote muscle recovery and growth. It also restores all of the depleted elements your body needs to stay strong and healthy. Meats are high in amino acids and protein, which are two key factors that aid the body in proper function and improving your physique. In fact, if you eat your normal breakfast, lunch, or dinner, right after a workout, you will get the most benefits. Consuming a regular meal of protein, carbs, and fat right when you are finished working out will give your body what it needs. You'll also reduce your newly induced hunger symptoms from the workout itself. Try this salmon, lentils, and broccoli meal prep.