How To Eat After Intense Workouts

02 Jul 2015

If you’re into nutrition, want to build muscle, lose fat or improve your body in general, the meal you eat after intense workouts is very important.
There’s ample content available on what to eat, how much and what foods are the best. They include what not to eat, what supplements to take and sometimes even contradict each other.

intense workoutsPhoto Credits: Edgaras’ Flickr

However, this can get too confusing. Here it is in its simplest form: You want to eat protein & carbohydrates as soon as possible after your workout.

Protein After Intense Workouts

Protein is essential after your workout. There’s two main reasons. The first is that you want to get protein into your body as soon as possible for fuel so that it doesn’t try to break down muscle tissue and use it as fuel instead. The second reason is because protein aides in muscle repair and muscle growth.

The problem is that many forms of protein digest very slowly. The idea is to absorb and assimilate protein (and carbohydrates) as quickly as possible. Fish, chicken, turkey and eggs are solid foods so it takes your body a long time to digest them.

Whey protein is the fastest way to digest protein quickly after intense workouts. Because you mix it with water it’s a liquid. Therefore, it’ll digest faster than solid foods such as chicken, fish or eggs.

The amount depends upon your weight. Generally, consume .15-.25 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. If you want to lose a considerable amount of weight, consume the amount of your target weight. If you want to build muscle mass, consume your current body weight.

Carbohydrates After Intense Workouts

Carbs are vital after intense workouts because, without them, your body may actually break down muscle tissue, as opposed to building it. They also cause a boost in insulin which will help move nutrients into your muscles quickly.

The disadvantage to foods containing carbohydrates is that all of them (oatmeal, brown rice etc.) also have fiber and other nutrients that slow down the digestion process. Normally, this is a good thing, but not for a post-workout meal. You want protein and carbs to enter and assimilate quickly.

Because of this, after your workout, white potatoes or even white rice or corn flakes are great choices because they’ll digest faster. Normally, you don’t want high glycemic carbs, but for post-workouts it’s the exact opposite.

Just like whey, there’s a speedy way to get carbs into your body and digested quickly. It’s called dextrose, but you can’t find it in a powder or pill form. The best way to get it is by finding a good sports drink.

The best method is to consume between .25-0.4 grams of carbohydrates per pound of your body weight. If you want to lose weight remember to use your target weight.

It’s not as complicated as many articles make it out to be.  Keep it simple by eating protein and carbohydrates within an hour of completing intense workouts. If you’d like a quick and easy solution to attain this, be sure to check out our whey products [insert product link] and other nutritional products to help you on your fitness journey.

Lynn Silva

Lynn Silva

Content Writer at Squirrly
Lynn is an expert at infusing mental skills into online business to improve sales, productivity and personal branding.
Lynn Silva