Post-workout meal: Why, when and what to eat after a workout
Post-workout meal: Why, when and what to eat after a workout

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] good workout demands a good post-workout meal. It’s one of the most important meals of the day for those who are working out hard to build muscles. Find out why, and when and what to eat after a hard workout session.

Some say that 80% of your muscle is made in the kitchen. Whether or not you agree with it, eating the right food at the right time is a vital part of the muscle building process. A healthy helping of protein and carbohydrate rich post-workout meal is a must after a hard session at the gym.

The post-workout meal is the most important meal of the day. It delivers much needed protein to the muscles and aids muscle tissue repair and growth. Follow why, when and what to eat after a workout and suggestions how to make sure your muscles get what they need.

Why eat a post-workout meal?

During a workout your body burns calories and breaks down glycogen and protein structures in the muscles. That’s why you need to replace these losses in order to stimulate muscle repair and growth.

Failure to do that or skip your post-workout meal will render your workout largely pointless. The reason being that your body will turn to your muscle tissue to make up for the lost nutrients.

When to eat a post-workout meal?

Often referred to as the “golden hour”, the best time to have a post-workout meal is within an hour after your workout. The “window of opportunity” is between 30-60 minutes after the end of your workout. That’s when your body is most likely to make the most of the nutrients provided with the meal.

What to eat as a post-workout meal?

After a good gym session your body (and muscles) will be screaming for protein and carbohydrates. To maximise the effect of a hard workout session, aim to consume 0.2-0.4 grams of protein per 2.2 lbs of bodyweight. A male with an average weight of 180lbs (82kg) would need about 30g of protein post workout. The precise amount of carbohydrates is slightly higher – 0.8 grams per 2.2lbs of body weight. The average male weighing at 180lbs (82kg) needs about 65g of carbohydrates after a workout.

A good post-workout meal would be grilled chicken with brown rice and vegetables or an egg omelette with avocado.

[quote_box_center]The exact portions depend on your body weight. If you are on the go and don’t have a pre-prepared meal, you could have a post-workout shake.[/quote_box_center]