What to eat after a workout? 6 fitness recipes for the muscle gains
We all want to give perfect performances. Best for every workout. We are looking for the most effective pre-workout supplements, the most effective training plans or even the most suitable hours for exercise. However, we forget about the basics in all the rush to be the best. One of them is a training meal. It is an important element in trying to lose weight and even greater in gaining muscle mass. Don't miss the opportunity to be better and stronger and feed your muscles immediately after training! We'll tell you how.
What's going on with your body after workout?
When you exercise, your body draws energy from sugars (glycogen) stored in the muscles and liver. Muscle tissue is also damaged, and important electrolytes are lost. Naturally, therefore, your body tries to restore glycogen stores, repair muscle tissue and restore fluid and electrolyte balance after training.
A post-workout meal will help you:
- stop the process of protein breakdown in muscles
- start the synthesis of muscle proteins
- restore glycogen reserves
- replenish the necessary electrolytes
- support regeneration
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats
This is exactly the order in which the individual macronutrients are important after training. The carbohydrate to protein ratio depends on your current goals and type of training. Read on to find out why.
By consuming carbohydrates after training, you will restore glycogen in the muscles. How much glycogen you missed during training depends on your type of physical activity. As a rule, you will consume more sugar in endurance sports, such as running or swimming, than in strength training.
- If your goal is to gain muscle mass, your post-workout meal should contain 1.1 g to 1.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight. Carbohydrates should be in a protein ratio of 2:1, for hard-gainers and endurance athletes up to 3: 1.
- For weight loss, it's different. As carbohydrate intake is generally reduced, it's upto you how much of it you're willing to move into your post-workout meal. A drink containing 0.25 to 0.5 g of carbohydrates and protein per kilogram of body weight will be more suitable for you. However, you can also have one of your daily meals, or try one of our recipes in this article.
As we have already stated, you will consume proteins and carbohydrates together after training. By combining them, you will improve both protein and glycogen synthesis. Eating enough protein after training will give you the amino acids, which are the building blocks needed to build new muscle tissue. Studies have shown that taking 20-40 grams of protein immediately after training maximize post-workout regeneration.
If you have some fat in your post-workout meal, it won't affect your recovery. A lot of people believe that fats will slow down digestion and absorption. For some types of fats, this can be true. It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but if you have some in your post-workout meal, it won't affect your recovery.
Anabolic window lasts longer than you thought
It is recommended to eat within an hour or so after your workout. However, some research suggests that the anabolic window can last at least 24 hours. It seems that the most important factor in eating post-workout is not necessarily the timing, but the correct ratio and amount of all macro and micronutrients in the diet. This is especially true for recreational athletes who train 2 to 3 times a week for no more than 60 minutes.
For hard-working athletes (more than 4 times a week, 70 minutes), skipping a post-workout meal can lead to impaired regeneration and performance. In contrast, muscle protein synthesis was increased in those athletes who consumed carbohydrates and proteins immediately after exercise.
6 post-workout fitness meals
A banana with protein is an ageless classic that will provide your body with fast carbohydrates, proteins and electrolytes. Give something different a chance and add new flavours to your diet! The dishes we have chosen for you are composed of common ingredients that are affordable and you will find most of them at home.
1. Protein popcorn
Prepare popcorn in the microwave according to the instructions. Best with low salt content. Right after pulling them out, sprinkle with protein powder and shake.
2. Chocolate milk
Chocolate milk has everything you need after your workout - carbohydrates, proteins, fluids and electrolytes. Researchers have found that chocolate milk rehydrates the body as well as Gatorade (a well-known sports drink). As a bonus, it is a golden mine of calcium and healthy fats.
3. Dates stuffed with nut butter
Fill the dates with almond butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. You will fall in love with this snack immediately! Dates are high in potassium, which helps to revitalize after a workout. Almond butter is a source of protein, healthy fats and minerals.
4. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great post-workout food. They are full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium and potassium. Bake them in the oven ahead of time so you always have a valuable post-workout snack on hand. You can add mozzarella cheese or use them to prepare a smoothie bowl with cashew milk and honey.
5. Ham & Cheese Plate
Put on your plate the food what you like most. Try our tip: turkey ham stuffed with cottage cheese spread and diced apple.
6. Beetroot smoothie
Drinking beetroot juice increases nitrate levels and improves physical performance. Enjoy it in the form of a smoothie, which also contains protein and is full of antioxidants. Place a small, cleaned and chopped beetroot, a cup of frozen blueberries, ½ cup of almond milk, ¼ cup of white Greek yoghurt, 2 tsp of honey in a high-function mixer and mix everything thoroughly.
Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates and protein is essential after a workout. It stimulates muscle protein synthesis, improves recovery and enhances performance during the next workout. If you train regularly, you shouldn't postpone your post-workout meal for several hours. If you're on a diet, plan it to fit your calorie intake.