You push hard when it comes to your workouts, and probably think a lot about what you consume before you work out. Even more important is how to refuel after an intense sweat session! When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores (carbohydrates) for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. It’s important after a workout to quickly restore and repair your muscles. Eating the right foods after a workout can help your body increase muscle growth, decrease muscle breakdown, and ensure a healthy recovery.
Protein and carbs serve as macronutrients and are a vital part of your body’s post-workout recovery process. It’s recommended that protein should be consumed within 45 minutes after finishing a workout. Studies have shown that ingesting 20–40 grams of protein seems to maximize the body’s ability to repair itself after exercise. Protein can come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Examples of protein: Salmon, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, protein bar, tuna
Carbs also help with recovery of your body after a workout. The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depends on the activity. For example, endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen than resistance training and bodybuilding. Refueling after an activity, like running or swimming requires that more carbs be consumed. Examples of carbs: Rice, rice cakes, potatoes, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, dark green vegetables
To maximize benefits, try to consume both carbs and protein after exercise in a 3:1 ratio (carbs to protein).