Post Workout Nutrition

by ered222

Some foods to eat after you have exercised to get the best results possible.

If you aren't taking your post workout practices seriously, then you are missing out on an important factor in exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

As we workout or do any type of exercise, our bodies are constantly breaking down muscles.  This process can be best described as tearing your muscles.  After your muscles have been torn they need to be repaired.  This process forces your body to use the nutrients that you take in through the foods you eat and in some cases, will make your muscles sore for a short period of time. 

Nutrients like protein and glutamine repair your muscles and will make them bigger and stronger.

Post Workout Nutrition
Post Workout Nutrition

A lot of people spend countless hours at the gym and never seem to get any bigger or stronger because of their diet.  I have a friend that I workout with and for the most part we do the same exercises, workout with the same weight, and workout the same days of the week. 

But my friend never seems to improve with his fitness levels.  He just seems to plateau, no matter how many times he changes his workouts.  Why is this?  I asked the same question myself, but then I began to learned more about his diet and realized that he was not eating the right foods.

The most important thing in working out is nutrition.  It won't really matter how much you workout, unless you eat good foods and have a overall balanced diet.  This article is specifically geared towards post workout nutrition, but you should be concerned about your overall diet.

Protein And Carbohydrates

The Ultimate Pair

When we all think of post workout nutrition we almost always associate it with protein supplements.  Well, it may be true that protein is important after you workout; you also need to consider eating carbohydrates.  This is because as you workout you are depleting the amount of carbohydrates.  You may be asking, “Why are carbohydrates so important?”  Well because carbohydrates are stored in your body and used as energy.

So if you have low amounts of carbohydrates in your body, you won't have a lot of energy and your muscles won't be able to repair themselves efficiently.  This is why a mixture of protein intake and the consumption of carbohydrates will give you the best results possible.  I won't go into protein that much because that industry has spoken for itself, but I will say that protein is nothing without carbohydrates added into your post workout nutrition plan.

One thing I would like to mention before we go into the different types of foods you should be eating, is that you should not be eating fat, or at lease, very little amounts of fat.  Make sure you eat healthy foods only, and limit yourself to how much of it you eat.

The Best Post Workout Nutrition Foods

I won't get too much into supplements in this article; I mainly want to focus on the foods that you can eat that will naturally heal your muscles.  But, don’t get me wrong; I do believe that there is a place for workout supplements, but not in this article.  Here are some of the best foods and meals that you can eat after your workouts that will repair your muscles and will make them healthy, they include:


Whey Protein Powder

I know I said I would get that into supplements but in most cases drinking a protein shake is essential.  This is because it is the fastest way to get your body to absorb protein.  What I mean by this is that, if you were to eat whole foods like chicken, then your body would need more time to break that food down so that your muscles could use it.  With drinking a protein shake your body uses less energy and it is absorbed into your body faster, which is important because the faster the protein gets to your muscles the more effect it will have on them.  If you need a protein supplement, I recommend Optimum Nutrition Whey’s Protein.

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After you have taken a protein supplement and it has been absorbed, the next best thing is chicken.  It is low in fat and has tons of protein.

Whole Eggs

Yes I said whole eggs, the yolk and all.  There has been a misconception that eating the whole egg is bad for you because it contains high amounts of cholesterol.  It may be true that it does contain high amounts of cholesterol, it is the good type of cholesterol.  This is a great article on the subject.


Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, fish is the ultimate post meal workout.  I personally like haddock or cod.



Oatmeal is one of the best ways to consume good carbohydrates.  It is also a great source of fiber.  I personally like the instant oatmeal that comes in packets, so you don’t have to pull out any cooking utensils.  All you have to do is mix to with water and pop in into the microwave.  I like to add a little milk to it too.


Pretty much any nut will do, I personally like almonds, but it’s really up to you.  Cashews, Brazil nuts, and walnuts are all great sources of carbohydrates.


Yogurt can be grouped into both the protein and carbohydrate category's because it has both.  In fact, depending on the brand you buy, it will give you more protein, than it will in carbohydrates.  This is why I highly recommend yogurt, it simple to eat and will greatly benefit you and your workout progress.

Updated: 04/03/2012, ered222
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Mira on 08/19/2012

I enjoyed your article and have pinned it to my new Nutrition Board on Pinterest :-)

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