Don't Skip Your Post-Workout Nutrition

Post-workout nutrition is important to help the body recover from intense exercise (especially weight training). It is not necessary to eat immediately after your workout (if you want to eat immediately after a workout, YOU DIDN'T WORKOUT VERY HARD)!

There is a 45 minute to 1 hour window where replenishing your body's fuel (carbs, protein, fats) will optimize your tissue's repair and growth.
Carbohydrates are important for glycogen stores recovery. The type of carbohydrates consumed are not as important as the amount consumed (replenishment is the key issue). If you miss this "window of opportunity" to optimize muscle repair and growth, it is gone forever.

So, how many daily carbs should you consume to replenish glycogen stores? It depends on your size and how intense you exercise. Your body needs a minimum of 200 grams of carbs per day if you are a light exerciser. You will feel tired and listless without this amount of carbs.

If your workouts involve plyometrics, speed and weight training, you need about 2.5 grams of daily carbs per pound of body weight. A 180 pound person would need at least 450 grams of carbs each day to function properly.

When you are training for marathons or triathlons, you need high amounts of daily carbs. About 3.5 to 4.5 grams per pound of body weight is needed. So, a 180 pound person would need 630 to 810 grams of carbs per day. These people sometimes use carbohydrate loading before events.

Protein is another critical post-exercise nutrient. Protein provides amino acids which are used to repair and rebuild damaged tissues as a result of intense exercise. Protein shakes will work well here.

To summarize, the post-exercise meal should consist of carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of essential fats. A drink, such as a smoothie, is good because it is quickly digestible. A ratio of 2g carbs/1g protein is desirable. The carbs should be high glycemic, the proteins should be easily digestible (whey, egg or casein) and the fats should be from sources such as fish or flax oil.

-Catherine Ebeling and Mike Geary are co-authors of the popular ebook, Fat-Burning Kitchen, which shows you how to totally revamp your kitchen to make your body a fat-burning machine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
My Fitness Hut
Her Fitness Hut
Sports Fitness Hut


About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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