What To Eat After You Workout: Post-Exercise Eating Tips

A few days ago I wrote about what to eat before a workout, now I want to follow-up with refueling your body post-exercise.  Here are some guidelines about what you should be eating after your workout.

Post-Exercise Eating Tips

While you are working out your body uses the stored energy in your muscles, called glycogen to fuel your workout.  Eating a snack or meal, post-exercise, containing carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes to an hour gives your muscles the ability to replenish the glycogen you just depleted through exercising. In addition, the available protein helps build and repair your tired muscles. You also have the added bonus of your post-exercise meal or snack keeping your metabolism in fat burning mode.

Post-Exercise food choices:

  • Protein smoothie made with half of a banana, low-fat yogurt, almond milk or water. I sometimes add frozen strawberries too!
  • Another good option is low-fat yogurt topped with your choice of berries.
  • A whole-grain bagel with fat-free cream cheese or peanut butter also makes a great post-exercise food choice.


Don’t forget to drink plenty of water after you exercise, to rehydrate your body.  According to MedlinePlus.com, you can lose several liters of water in the form of sweat in a 1-hour period; therefore for every pound you lose while exercising, you should drink 24 ounces or 3 cups of water within the next 6 hours.




www.MayoClinic.com: Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts


www.eatright.org: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Timing Your Nutrition


MedlinePlus: Nutrition and Athletic Performance




  • I take protein before a workout, do you think its better to have it after?

    • Hello, So there is plenty of research that has found that it is best to stick to carbohydrates before a workout, because carbohydrates digest far quicker than protein and it’s your body’s preferred source of energy, so it should be the source of your pre-workout meal. However, I think adding a little protein with some carbohydrates is fine. I sometimes add a little myself, but I mainly stick to carbs.

      Protein after your workout is a definite must for muscle recovery and repair.

      Thanks for your comment/question!

What do you think?