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It is just as important to eat after a workout as it is to eat before exercising. You may be thinking that eating after a workout cancels out the calories you just burned. This notion is actually a common misconception. People put so much energy into their pre-workout meals that they often neglect or forget about post-workout meals.

Understanding what you should eat after a workout means that you have to know how your body responds to physical activity. During exercise, the body uses glycogen stores in muscles for fuel. Some proteins in the muscles also break down or become damaged. Upon finishing a workout, the body tries to rebuild glycogen stores and regrow muscle proteins. Eating the right foods after a workout can aid this process.

It is integral to avoid simple carbs like breads or processed foods after working out because those foods don’t supply your body with nutrients that it can easily absorb. We suggest drinking a green smoothie because it is easy for the body to absorb the protein and other vitamins & minerals. Let’s talk about a few nutrients that are essential to eat after a workout.

Protein works to build and repair muscle. The degree at which you workout will determine how many muscle proteins break down. Plant-based protein sources like spinach, broccoli, kale, chia seeds, sprouts, asparagus, lentils, and quinoa help to replenish the body with essential amino acids, which are necessary for new muscle tissue.

Carbohydrates are necessary for the post-workout recovery process. They are more beneficial for those who participate in endurance training because the body uses glycogen stores more quickly during endurance workouts. People who exercise more often will need to eat a sufficient amount of carbs to rebuild muscles. Focus on complex carbs like sweet potatoes, bananas, beets, leafy greens, blueberries, chickpeas, grapefruit, and apples.

Fats are not the enemy, provided you are eating the right fats. You don’t want to scarf down some chili cheese fries after a workout because that will destroy you. Healthy fats that are in avocados, chia seeds, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, and cashews work to promote muscle growth after a workout. Adding organic, unsweetened almond milk to a smoothie is a great way to satisfy your fat intake after a workout.

Remember to eat a healthy snack within 45 minutes of completing your workout. And for the meal following your post-workout snack, you should consume an assortment of colorful vegetables to absorb a wide variety of antioxidants. Always make sure that you focus on delivering your body the essential nutrients it needs to properly recover.