What To Eat After a Workout To Loose Weight And Build Muscle


You will find that eating right after a workout helps you build muscle faster and even save time by getting your nutrition taken care of while you reap the benefits of your workout.

What To Eat After a Workout To Loose Weight And Build Muscle

Physical activity uses a lot of energy. It is difficult for the body to recover if energy levels are not replenished within 15 to 30 minutes after finishing a workout. Eating even a little snack shortly after exercising can help to restore energy levels.In this article, we explore several components of a healthful post-workout snack and describe how they benefit the body.

What to eat after exercise and why
What to eat after a workout
Eating a snack after a workout will help the body replenish lost energy.

The following are examples of foods and compounds that help the body to absorb nutrients quickly and speed recovery.

Dairy protein

According to researchTrusted Source published in 2017, as few as 9 grams (g) of milk protein may be enough to stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles, aiding in recovery after exercise.

Other than milk, dairy products rich in protein include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • ricotta cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • kefir

In fact, a 1 cup serving of low-fat kefir contains 9.2 gTrusted Source of high-quality protein. These proteins can repair new cells, especially those in the muscles. These proteins also contain all of the essential amino acids, which are only available through the diet.

In 2007, some researchers found that milk-based proteins are more effectiveTrusted Source than soy-based proteins at promoting the growth of muscle proteins after resistance exercise.

The researchers concluded that while both milk and soy proteins help a person to maintain and build muscle mass, milk proteins were more effective at supporting the quick growth of lean muscle mass.


Results of a study from 2017Trusted Source suggested that consuming whole eggs after resistance exercise resulted in more protein synthesis than consuming egg whites with the same protein content.

The researchers concluded that the nutrients in the yolk helped to stimulate the muscles more effectively.

Omega-3 fatty acids

ResearchTrusted Source from the Washington University School of Medicine suggests that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids helps to boost the synthesis of muscle proteins and increase the size of muscle cells in healthy young and middle-aged adults.

Fatty fish, including salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna also contains high levels of the fatty acids, and about 6 ounces (oz) of tuna packed in water contains 41.6 gTrusted Source of protein and 5.4 gTrusted Source of fat.

Other evidence shows that oil drawn from fatty fish may help to reduce muscle soreness after resistance training. A study from 2016 found that consuming 6 g of fish oil every day for 1 week before beginning resistance exercise resulted in reduced muscle soreness.


young woman drinking water whilst out running


Staying hydrated is essential when exercising.

Consuming carbohydrate-rich foods may be the best way to reduce the decreases in immunity that can occur after exercise.

Consuming carbohydrates as part of a post-workout snack also helps to promote glycogen storage.

Sweet potatoes, grains, and fruits can contain high levels of healthful carbohydrates, as can quinoa.

Quinoa is gluten-free, classified as a pseudocereal, and usually consumed as a grain. It is high in fiber and rich in protein, with 1 cup providing 8.14 gTrusted Source.

Also, quinoa has a low glycemic index, making it an excellent choice for people who regulate their blood sugar.

Herbal tea

The nutrients and chemical compounds in herbal teas, especially yerba mate, may help the body process carbohydrates and protein effectively.

Authors of a studyTrusted Source from 2016 compared the effects of yerba mate to water after exercise. The participants who drank yerba mate recovered strength faster in the 24 hours that followed a workout.

In 2012, researchers found that mice administered yerba mate extract were able to metabolize more quickly and expend more energy than those who did not.


It is essential to drink plenty of water before, during, and after a workout. Staying hydrated ensures that the body gets the most benefit from exercise.

The body loses water and electrolytesTrusted Source while sweating, so drinking water during and after a workout promotes performance and recovery.

Everybody varies in the amount of water they need, depending on the type of exercise, how much they sweat, how thirsty they are, as well as other factors.

The importance of the post-workout snack

During exercise, the muscles use up stored glucose, called glycogen, and levels become depleted.

Endurance sports, such as running, use up more glycogen than resistance activities, such as weightlifting. Another effect of exercise is that the muscles develop small tears.

Getting the right nutritional balance after exercise restores energy levels and reduces fatigue, helping the body to repair muscles and build strength for future workouts.

Proteins, carbohydrates, and healthful fats are all essential for the body’s recovery.


Exercise supports muscle growth, but the body can only build upon existing muscles if they recover after each workout.

Consuming protein after exercise helps the muscles to healTrusted Source and prevents the loss of lean mass. Lean mass contributes to a muscular and toned appearance.


Carbohydrates are macronutrients that help the body to recharge and restore its fuel supply.

Anyone who exercises more than seven times a week should consume plenty of carbohydrates, as they quickly replenish glycogen levels.

What about fat?

Many people believe that consuming fat after exercising slows digestion and the absorption of nutrients. For some types of fat, this may be true.

However, there is little information about the post-workout effects of fat calories. It may be a good idea to limit fat intake after exercise, but low levels of fat are unlikely to inhibit recovery.


Consuming carbohydrates, proteins, and some fats after exercising helps to encourage muscle protein production, and promote recovery with the best results.

Arrange to eat a snack as soon as possible after a workout. Also, remember to replace fluids and electrolytes by drinking water before, during, and after exercise.


This issue could be that you don’t know what to eat after a workout and your muscles aren’t getting the proper nutrition they need for fast recovery.

What To Eat After A Workout: 15 Foods For Fast Recovery

In this article, we’re going to cover how food can help you recover quicker, the 15 best foods to eat after a workout, and finally some additional pointers for better after workout recovery.

How Does Food Help You After Exercise?

What to eat after a workout is an important consideration of any workout program. After all, you should never try to lose weight through dieting on an empty stomach. Protein is the key nutrient for building muscle and losing fat. However, there are numerous other benefits as well that come from eating protein – including recovery from your morning workouts.

The problem is it can be incredibly hard to figure out how much protein you need after a workout, and how you should be eating it. There are also numerous sources of protein – ranging from whey to casein – but only some of them provide the necessary nutrients found in protein powders.

What To Eat Before After A Workout To Gain Muscle And Lose Fat

To understand how food helps in recovery, you have to understand the main components that food breaks down into – or its macronutrients.

A macronutrient (or “macro,” for short) is a substance required in relatively large amounts by living organisms, including you, which you get from food or drink. The three macros are protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

After a workout, your body needs protein otherwise it can become catabolic, which means it eats away at itself for fuel.

When you work out, your body uses up its glycogen stores as fuel. Think of glycogen like little muscle batteries. When you work out, they dry up. But when you consume carbohydrates after a workout, they refill your little glycogen batteries .

After a workout, your body tries to rebuild its stores of glycogen and repair and regrow muscles.


Knowing what to eat after working out and eating the right foods can help speed along this process and enhance your recovery.

Protein and Carbohydrates

This section discusses how the two most important macronutrients, protein and carbohydrates are essential to your body’s post recovery activities.

What To Eat After A Workout: 15 Foods For Fast Recovery

Protein – Helps Repair and Build Muscle

Proteins are commonly referred to as “the building blocks of muscle.” When you workout, you break down your muscle fibers.

When you eat protein after exercise, it aids in muscle repair.

Eating protein post workout will also prevent you from losing the lean mass that keeps your body looking toned and muscular.Choose lean proteins such as chicken, nuts, dairy, lean beef and bison if you’re looking to reduce weight.

This can be in the form of a meal (if exercise precedes a meal) or as a light snack. There are more examples of lean proteins below.

Healthy Carbohydrates – Helps Your Muscles Recover Quickly

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are a macronutrient, like protein, and are your body’s primary fuel source. When you workout, you deplete the glycogen (or energy) in your muscles.

Endurance sports like running or swimming tend to consume glycogen stores at a faster rate than resistance sports like weightlifting.


It’s also important to eat plenty of good carbs if you exercise more than once a day.

Choose whole grains and all natural carbohydrates, such as oats, quinoa, whole wheat pasta or bread. I like to work these into the next meal, so if you have a kick butt workout before breakfast, have some oatmeal after.

If you hit the gym before lunch or dinner have a plate of whole wheat pasta topped with veggies and lean protein. There are more examples of healthy carbs below.

Best Foods To Eat After A Workout

Now that you understand the significance of macronutrients for muscle recovery, you need to know which foods are the best sources for them.


Foods that are easy to digest will help your body absorb nutrients faster. The following list contains foods that are simpler to digest and provide the right nutrients for your body.

The 15 best foods to eat after a workout:

  1. Egg whites
  2. Chicken
  3. Tuna
  4. Salmon
  5. Greek yogurt
  6. Cottage cheese
  7. Whole eggs
  8. Rice (brown)
  9. Kidney beans
  10. Sweet potatoes
  11. Pasta (whole wheat)
  12. Oatmeal
  13. Fruits (berries, bananas)
  14. Quinoa
  15. Black beans

How Soon Should You Eat After A Workout?

For a short period of about 45 minutes your body can absorb more protein. This period immediately following a workout is known as the “anabolic window”.

The idea behind the anabolic window is that after a workout, your body can use protein to build muscle better than it could at any other time.

What To Eat After A Workout: 15 Foods For Fast Recovery

In addition, studies have shown that your body replenishes glycogen (your muscle’s energy stores) at a more rapid rate during the anabolic window period .


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