PRE and POST workout meals play a huge role when it comes to losing weight and building lean muscles.
Eating the right foods at the right time is one of the most important things when it comes to getting fit and healthy overall.
And we already talked about the right way to fuel up before a workout in my PRE-WORKOUT GUIDE, so, now it’s time for that famed post-workout fuel up.
Why are fitness athletes SO obsessed with what they should eat right after the workout, and does it really affects our results that much?
The answer is YES.
In fact, this meal directly affects our results, since it’s the one that helps our muscles grow stronger.
The truth is, we put a lot of effort into our workouts, always looking to perform better and do our very best.
HOWEVER, if we fail to fuel up properly after the workout, it can all go to waste.
That’s why I packed a post-workout guide, to help you understand and finally nail your post-workout meals to get better results.
Let’s get started right away!
Why The Post-Workout Meal Is So Important?
Let’s start from the beginning…
When you are working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen.
Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged.
Therefore, after your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins.
And the bond that helps rebuild those muscles and helps them grow stronger after each training is food.
Your muscles are exhausted after the workout, they have lost all of their energy and they need fuel fast to be able to grow stronger.
A lot of girls think that if they don’t eat anything after the workout, they will lose even more weight, but this isn’t true at all.
The only thing you will do if you starve yourself after working out is throwing that hard work to waste.
Your muscles will not grow if you don’t feed them, in fact, your body will start to panic while storing fat and burning proteins.
That’s why eating is crucial when it comes to post-workout.
But What Should You Eat?!
After a workout, your muscles are pretty hungry, probably just like yourself.
They’re hungry for nutrients and they need something FAST.
So, a fast-digesting high protein – high carb meal is the best way to go for.
Starting from here, when we’re looking for a quick fix-up for a post-workout meal on the go, definitely the best choice would be a liquid meal, shake or a protein-based smoothie.
As I explain in my pre-workout guide, liquids are easy to prepare and are easy to carry on, and they can be digested more readily than solid foods.
This means that a protein shake, right after you finish your workout (in the range of 15 minutes) would be the perfect post-workout fuel up.
It is difficult for the body to recover if energy levels are not replenished within 15 to 30 minutes after finishing a workout.
This means that having even a little snack shortly after exercising can also help to restore energy levels.
So, a rice cake topped with peanut butter and berries would also do the job.
However, post-workout snacks and shakes cannot and should not replace your post-workout meal.
Protein shakes are a supplement, and they only complement your post-workout meal and act as a fast fix up, but should never replace the meal afterward.
Post Workout Meals
You should eat a quality meal right after every training.
The perfect scenario would be to eat your post-workout meal in the range of 30-40 minutes after finishing your workout.
You shouldn’t wait longer than an hour to have your after workout meal.
Here’s a simple post-workout meal formula for you:
clean proteins + complex carbs + greens
The proteins will do their job in rebuilding that broken muscle blocks, the carbohydrates will restore those glucose levels and get your muscles ready for recovery, and the greens will fill your body with a decent amount of both fibers and micronutrients.
You’ll find hundreds of post-workout meals in my meal plan, Burn Baby Burn, however, here are some of the go-to ideas I usually lean onto.
Tuna + Chickpeas + Kale Salad
This is one of those fast go-to meals I usually go for whenever I’m in a rush.
I open a tuna can (I usually go for tuna in water) and side it with a cup of chickpeas.
I have a rule to always add a fresh ingredient in my post workout (or any) meals, so with this combo, I go for kale.
Chicken + Roasted Vegetables + Broccoli Salad
I usually cut the meat and the veggies in cubes, add a ton of spices and cook them in the oven.
Meanwhile, I steam the broccoli for a minute or two, season it with olive oil and fresh lemon juice and side my chicken and veggies with it.
This is a great idea for meal planning too.
Egg omelet + Arugula + Tomatoes
Eggs are always a great choice when it comes to post-workout fuel up, especially since they are packed with protein.
Side your omelet with tomatoes and arugula, and you are all set.
Now Head On To Work!
As long as you got your macros on point, you are making sure to fuel your body the right way and get the best out of your workouts.
And if you are not sure how to do that, head on to my meal plan Burn Baby Burn.