When to eat after a workout?

If after a workout you try not to eat anything, then you absolutely do the wrong thing. But you shouldn't get enough too. And how, when and what can and should be eaten after physical exertion?

Why eat after training?

After a workout, the metabolism is accelerated, so the body continues to actively expend the proteins necessary for muscles that provide carbohydrates with energy, as well as the hated fats. And they are taken not only from the food consumed before the class, but also from stocks. It would seem that it’s great, and if you don’t eat anything, your body will spend the most of what has been stored before. And this will contribute to the rapid weight loss.

In fact, everything is not so rosy. First, when protein overruns, muscle tissues begin to be processed directly, which is why they are greatly depleted, and the weight does not increase. Secondly, with a lack of energy, the metabolism slows down significantly, it is a certain protective mechanism.That is, by refusing food after exercise, you are harming yourself. It is needed to compensate for the losses.

When there is?

When is it better to eat after a workout? In sports, there is such a thing as a "carbohydrate window." During this period, the body spends the maximum amount of energy, therefore, it is necessary to replenish its reserves. Such a “window” is open for approximately one to two hours after the session.

And it is during this period that it is best to eat. But many athletes recommend snacking for the first hour or even 30 minutes, since if the time interval is increased, the body may not use up the proteins and carbohydrates fully and completely.

What and in what quantities?

So, what exactly and how much should you eat? Everything will depend on your goals, as well as on the specific type of training.

Intense loads

After a cardio workout, it is best to consume carbohydrates, because in the process of the exercises, first glucose is actively consumed from the blood, then the so-called reserve carbohydrate glycogen. And if you do not replenish the reserves of this very glycogen, then it will take a very long time, which will negatively affect the results of studies.

  • Firstly, the endurance of muscle tissue and the whole body as a whole will significantly decrease.
  • Secondly, metabolic processes will slow down significantly, which is also harmful.

It is recommended to use simple carbohydrates, that is, those that are absorbed almost immediately. It is easiest to get them from sweet fruits or juice. Also suitable white rice, honey, bread. What is the optimal serving size? For example, one banana, one glass of juice or 50-60 grams of rice.

For every kilogram of your normal (that is, ideal, not overweight) weight should be 0.5-0.7 carbohydrates. The same recommendations apply to any hard, intense and exhausting workout.

Important: the sooner you snack, the better! You can do this in the first 15 minutes.

Building muscle

To increase muscle mass, proteins are necessary, since it is muscle that consists of them. And with their deficiency, the tissues will start to dwindle and collapse. What you need to have to replenish stocks? It is logical that protein foods. But it should be dietary, that is, contain a minimum amount of carbohydrates (they are consumed by the body, but not so active) and practically contain no fats, they are not needed at all.

The perfect snack is a glass of skimmed milk, kefir or yogurt. You can also afford a boiled chicken breast, lean fish, low-fat cottage cheese, egg white (yolk is not worth it). How to determine the optimal portion? Multiply your ideal weight (that is, excluding extra pounds) by 0.55. The final figure will be equal to the amount of protein that must enter the body.

Protein food is also useful for losing weight, so if your goal is weight loss, then the products listed above are also suitable.


Some useful tips:

  • In no case do not overeat, otherwise you will not achieve results, but the effect of training will be negated.
  • Drink more, because fluid losses are great too. It is best to drink purified or non-carbonated mineral water.
  • Eat only healthy and vitamin-rich food.
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