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What should I eat post-workout?

So you’ve hit the gym, smashed your workout, maybe reached a personal best, and have done your all-important stretching and warm down, which means now it’s time for your post-workout meal. A question we get asked frequently is, “what should I eat post-workout”?

The body burns energy to carry out the exercises you are doing while in the gym and after your workout. The main goal of a post-workout meal is to get the adequate nutrients and energy that will support proper recovery and muscle repair.

If you follow a healthy and nutritious diet and lifestyle normally, selecting post-workout food can be simple. If you’re looking to tailor your nutrition needs according to a set workout program’s intensity and duration, we’ve provided some tips for specific exercises.

So if you’re asking yourself, ‘what should I eat post-workout?’, then keep on reading.

Strength training

A post-workout meal with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein 30 minutes after a strength training session is recommended to replace your energy stores and promote muscle fibre repairs. Some good post-workout foods are:

  • Berry Coconut Protein Shake
  • Chickpea Salad Sandwich
  • Lemon Chilli Chicken and Chips

High intensity interval training (HIIT)

Very similar to strength training, a post-workout meal following high intensity interval training (HIIT) often also calls for the 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein 30 minutes after your session.

Cycling and running

Cycling and running are two exercises that drain a lot of the glycogen stores in your muscles and need to be replenished immediately to prevent muscle loss and cramping, improve recovery and performance. A 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein is advised after engaging in these endurance sports.

Go for foods with a quick carb fix to aid in recovery of your energy stores and insulin, such as:

  • Frozen Banana Smoothie
  • Green Smoothie
  • Crunchy Pita Abundance Bowl
  • Oats with Prunes and Sweet Ricotta

New to running? Read this.

Dance workouts and walking

You may choose dance workouts and walking when you want to mix up your usual routine of cardio and weights. A well-balanced meal after a good dance session or walk is recommended for muscle recovery and prevent soreness afterwards. Post-workout meal options can vary:

  • Open Tuna Sandwich
  • Banana, Strawberry and Avocado Smoothie
  • Sliced Egg Wrap

Yoga and Reformer Pilates

Eating for wellness is the focus of these two exercise practices – yoga and Reformer Pilates. Since these exercises are usually light to moderate intensity, there is often no need for special sports drink or shakes. If you have a goal of weight loss, a light yet balanced meal can be eaten depending on the time of the day you do your practice sessions:

  • Berry Nutty Smoothie
  • Protein Packed Tofu Burger for a good recovery lunch or dinner
  • Feta and Avocado Pita for a snack before dinner

These recipes and nutrition options are a guide only. It’s best to sit down and have a one-on-one convo with your Food Coach to chat about your goals and nutrition.

These delicious and nutritious post-workout snack and meal recipes are available via Fernwood member platform Fernwood Pulse. Not a Fernwood member yet? Join now!


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