Refueling After a Productive Workout—What to Eat

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An essential part of working out is knowing what to eat after every session because it could make or break your recovery and keep you from attaining your fitness goals effectively. A lot of people don’t know what kind of food to consume during their post-workout, nor when to refill their energy. As basic as that may sound, being indecisive about it can actually disrupt their productivity after already coming so far.

On the other hand, some individuals believe that every time they cheat on their diet, they have to compensate by working out and avoiding eating afterward. However, that shouldn’t be the case because you must still maintain proper nutrition and refuel yourself the same way you do before and after a workout to achieve complete recovery.

Despite the misconceptions about post-workout meals, it’s important to put your health and wellness first and know what you should eat after each session to replenish your body correctly. Keep reading below to find out what to do after a long and tiring workout. 

Eat More Food Rich in Protein

Experts offering fitness tips used to believe in the Anabolic Window—it’s the best time that happens after your workout where your body can take in nutrients for muscle recovery. Whether you’re doing strength training or a cardio session, it’s vital to take your rest days seriously.

Due to recent studies, people’s views have now changed, and you aren’t required to consume protein right after you finish your last set anymore. Instead, you can still spend a few hours to make it back home and fix yourself a meal, and still receive the necessary protein to help with your muscle growth.

Rather than focusing on consuming protein at the closest possible time from when you finished exercising, you can distribute your protein intake throughout the day. That way, you can regain your muscles more efficiently! While your post-workout meal should have a significant amount of protein, you aren’t required to consume all of it in one sitting because you still have the rest of the day to do that.    

Consume More Carbs and Calories

No matter what kind of physical exercise you choose to do, while you can guarantee it will help you burn carbs and calories, the amount will depend on how long and intense your workout is. If you perform long and challenging activities regularly, it’s necessary to consume more carbs and calories than usual to regain your energy and recover your muscles effectively.

However, if you’re doing low-intensity routines such as a quick run or a yoga session, it’s best to manage your healthy eating and nutrition and uphold an average calorie intake of carbs, protein, and fat. No matter what happens, you should never skip eating after a workout, or your body won’t recuperate the right way.

The kinds of food considered good carbs and are perfect for a post-workout snack or meal include fruits, bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers, smoothies, chocolate milk, and juices. It’s integral to have extra carbs in your diet if you’re performing high-intensity exercises like resistance training or long-distance running to keep your blood sugars at optimal levels.

Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day

Not everyone knows the importance of staying hydrated and consuming eight glasses of water every day. If you exercise regularly, then that’s more reason for you to drink up and avoid dehydration! Failing to hydrate yourself before, during, and after a workout could increase your chances of experiencing muscle soreness post-exercise.

Beverages like water, sports drinks, protein shakes, and smoothies are essential, especially if you tend to undergo high-intensity and long interval workouts. Adding to that is the extreme temperatures in the environment that could cause further dehydration. 


If you want to make the most out of every workout session you do, you should pay attention to what you consume—not only before you exercise, but more importantly, afterward as well! Remember to eat more protein, consume more carbs, and stay hydrated throughout the day. You can also read other fitness articles online to give you an idea of the best food and drinks you should include in your diet to improve your muscle recovery and support your fitness goals.

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