If you have ever felt completely exhausted after a challenging workout, you know for yourself why it is so important to replenish your body with a snack after exercise. How long should you wait to eat after exercising?
Your body uses the necessary resources to drive through a sweat session. If you do not eat after exercise, you will compromise the body’s recovery ability. How fast after the workout you need to eat depends on the training intensity and varies from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
When to eat after a workout meal
- To replace the glycogen stored in your body quickly and efficiently, eat a snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates for the meal after exercise.
- Have a snack within two hours of exercising. If you have trained with high intensity, it is better to eat earlier. After intense workouts, eat within 15 minutes of your exercise.
What to eat after exercise
Do not sit down for a three-course meal immediately after exercise. Instead, choose a light snack that keeps you energetic without weighing you down. Healthy options include a slice of wholemeal bread with almond butter or whole-grain pita bread with a hard-boiled egg.
Eat foods low in saturated fat and oil. You feel more lethargic after eating these foods, but you can also consume even more calories than you burned during your workout.
Nutrition bars are convenient for getting nutrients and calories after a workout. But beware – many bars contain as many calories as a whole meal. How many calories depends on how intense your workout was. Choose a bar in proportion and look for natural ingredients without added sugar.
If you are not hungry
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, exercise can reduce your appetite for a short period. Even if you feel nauseous or full after completing your workout, consuming some form of refill is essential.
Find out what might appeal to you and have it on hand. Drink plenty of water, then reach for a piece of fruit after a workout, a fruit smoothie, or a healthy sports bar. Eating a little in the short term will help you feel better in the long run.
Eat for your goals
It is not a snack that suits everyone after exercise. What you eat will depend on your exercise goals. You will have more protein in your snacks if you are trying to build muscle; If you are a long-distance runner, you will need electrolytes and simple carbohydrates ASAP after a workout.
If your goal is weight loss, you need to carefully balance your calorie intake with your calorie burn so that your snack does not violate the purpose of your workout. Remember – eating something is better than eating nothing.