Best Post-Workout Refueling Plan

29 August 2016
  Christy Foote | Core Nutrition Coach
Foods that Boost Your Workout Recovery

If you are into sports or new to exercising, you may have wondered what foods are best to eat following a workout. Fortunately, research has shown which types of fuel your body needs to refuel after exercise. Here are some basic principles you can try to get great results.

There are a few factors that come into play when choosing what and how much to eat after a workout. The biggest factors depend on the workout duration, intensity and your goals. If someone is an endurance/marathon runner, they would need to fuel differently from someone who works out for under an hour a day. If you are trying to build muscle, that is a factor too. And everyone responds a little differently, so experimenting may be necessary.

The main goal for post-workout meal is to keep your blood sugar level

If your blood sugar drops after working out, your body will struggle with effective recovery and you may feel exhausted. That is because your body has depleted a good amount of your stored carbohydrates and is trying to repair muscles. You’ll want to replenish with your post-workout meal within forty minutes of exercise.

Let’s assume you are working out an hour, four to five times a week and not training for a marathon/endurance sport. Also, for this example, the goal is for fat loss and/or to maintain lean muscle. You will want to eat simple carbs that are easy to digest and help your blood sugar recover quickly. Eat some fast digesting protein for muscle repair too.

Simple carbs are your friend post-workout

Carbohydrates are sugars that come in two main forms- simple or complex. The difference between a simple and complex carb is in how quickly it is digested and absorbed. Simple carbs break down faster than complex raising your blood sugar level faster. Which is why you want simple carbs right after working out.

Simple carbs are found in foods like fruit, some vegetables, milk, a lot of processed foods, honey and table sugar. Think of things that are sweet and they are probably a simple carb. Have a serving of simple carbs after your workout. Great options are: one banana, apple, dried fruit (mango, raisins, etc), glass of milk or yogurt.

Muscles need protein to rebuild

For your easy to digest protein, protein shakes are great option. They are convenient and breakdown quickly. The grocery shelves are flooded with protein powders with whey, vegan powder, soy and more. Choose what your body tolerates best. Be careful and read the ingredients as there are a lot of fillers and fake sugars that aren’t great for you.

Here is a tasty post-workout shake recipe:

Core Post-Workout Shake

1 Frozen Banana

1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder

1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

½ cup ice

½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in blender and enjoy!


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