What to Eat After a Workout

The other day we talked about one of my most frequently asked questions on whether or not you should eat before a workout. The next most frequently asked questions is definitely, “what to eat after a workout?” to get the best weight loss and/ or muscle building results.

What you eat after your workouts matters because your muscles can run low on glycogen (fuel) and need to be refueled. But, what’s best for refueling really depends. Timing depends as well. If you’re working out fasted, and practicing IF and/ or EF, or on a meat based, Carnivore Diet approach, this will definitely change things up as well.

PLUS, if you’re working out correctly, the protein in your muscle (less commonly known as actin, myosin and a handful of others) can get damaged or broken down … which is actually what you want!

As I’m sure you can guess, food choices can help speed up both the refueling and repair processes. Fasting has its place as well. My rule of thumb is always “fueling before fasting” though we’ll get into that another day.

Eating the right combo of Macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) can help with:

  • Reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins.
  • Increase growth of muscle proteins.
  • Restore glycogen (fuel) to your muscles, and…
  • Improve your recovery.

(Side note… I had no idea what I was doing with Macros years ago which is what I started doing the work I do. This was me years ago before I started down my journey of holistic health. CLICK HERE to read more about my story.)

How much of each Macro that you need depends not only on what kind of workout you did, but what’s right for your individual body and metabolism, as well as what’s going on with hormones and gut health!

Let’s start with the protein. 

If you did an endurance-oriented workout (like cycling, running, or a cardio class), your body might feel more depleted than if you were lifting weights. Traditionally, this could be a good day to cycle in a few more carbs than you may be used to. This could also mean the need for a higher amount of protein and/ or fat to support those hormones, such as cortisol and DHEA, that are taxed a bit more from “cardio” exercise. I personally do better on this meat based approach with higher protein and fat, less carbs.

Here are some basic ideas of the various ways you could combine Macronutrients based on your own individual needs:

  • Full fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit.
  • Protein shake with a one ingredient, high quality protein powder (CLICK HERE for one of my faves and feel free to use 10% off coupon XCAMO3RKHC!), almond butter or coconut oil and greens. 
  • Chicken or salmon with sweet potato.
  • Eggs with veggies sauteed in ghee or butter.
  • If you do grains, oatmeal with eggs or a scoop of protein powder.
  • Meat based?! Then steak. Chicken. Steak or steak! Andddd maybe some butter 🙂
  • Steak and eggs as well – this is one of THE best combinations to rebuild muscle post workout!

**Note: while the food industry has been telling us for years to add fruit to your oatmeal, please don’t! Be sure NOT to combine fruit with grains as this can cause fermentation in the gut… bloating, gas and more.

Post workout meal timing. The research on this will make your head spin. Some say yes and some say no. I feel that the most important thing is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you’re hungry post workout, EAT. If you’re not physically hungry, wait until you are. Do not force yourself to eat! If you’re concerned about losing muscle, you can always supplement with a full spectrum amino acid supplement during or post workout and then, as I mentioned, eat when you are physically hungry. Hunger is also often mistaken for the need for electrolytes!

I hope this helps clear up any questions or confusion!

I know some of this might be new for you. And, I promise it works! Over the last 14+ years, I’ve helped my clients not only eliminate the cravings, but also reverse PCOS, infertility, and various Thyroid issues. I’ve also helped them release the struggle from lifelong migraines, gut problems, pre/ post menopausal symptoms, and much more. All of this with a super simple, cutting edge, 4 step “fitness” approach.

If you’re ready to THRIVE, and not just survive, let’s connect!

CLICK HERE to contact me today!