Post workout food should include essential nutrients to maximize recovery. Do you have questions about what you should include? Read our article.

Post-workout nutrition is one of the fundamental pillars of an athlete’s eating day planning, be it professional or recreational.

In fact, recovery is a determining factor in improving performance. Because it allows the body to adapt progressively to the training stimulus and thereby improve sports performance.

In this sense, post-training feeding is crucial to promote the repair of the micro-injuries caused by training in muscle tissue. The replacement of energy reserves and glycogen depleted during training and restore the body’s balance in the fluids and electrolytes lost by perspiration.

It is with an adequate post-workout diet that maximizes the growth of new muscle proteins stronger and adapted to training and achieves a full recovery and improved performance.

In this context, the most important macronutrients in the post-training period will be proteins and carbohydrates, together with hydration and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Post Workout Food/Nutrition: What to Give

Firstly, it should be noted that the post-workout meal should be included in the daily nutritional and energy needs of an athlete and, for this reason, it is influenced by many factors, whether related to the athlete (age, sex, body composition) or (type of training, duration, intensity and regularity of the training).

In addition, it is important to mention that the period immediately following the end of the training is a period in which the organism is more receptive to the nutrients, being the maximum the absorption of them.

In this sense, post-workout nutrition is extremely important.

Discuss eat before or after workout to gain muscle.

Post Workout Carbohydrates:

post workout food

As training progresses, muscle glycogen stores are depleting, requiring replacement through post-workout nutrition.
The major nutrient involved in glycogen replenishment is a carbohydrate, which must be high glycemic index so that its absorption is faster, something that is desirable in the post-training period to optimize recovery from moderate or intense exercise of prolonged duration.

In this sense, foods such as fruit, white bread, non-whole rice or pasta, potatoes or sweet potatoes, among others, are good options for this period.

The fruit, especially bananas and grapes, is a particularly interesting option because, in addition to the carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, it is also rich in vitamins and minerals, important for the replacement of losses in hydro electrolytic level.

Post Workout Protein


Protein is the key nutrient to increase muscle mass. Since it serves as a substrate for the proteins that make up muscle tissue.

As such, their presence in the post-workout meal is mandatory, and a dose of 20g-30g (depending on the athlete’s profile and training type) should be consumed in order to obtain about 10g of essential amino acids.

Among protein-providing foods, those that provide high biological value protein (with all essential amino acids and with good digestibility), such as animal proteins (milk and lean meats, lean meats, fish egg ).

In the case of big fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, it also has the advantage of also providing omega 3, an important nutrient to neutralize muscle inflammation caused by training.

An egg is the best pre workout breakfast for building muscle. Also called “Fit for Life Diet”.

Post Workout Supplementation

post workout food

To reach the recommended dose of protein more easily, you can also opt for a protein supplement, namely whey protein, or egg protein, in case you are allergic/ intolerant to milk.

In the case of whey protein, there are 3 types of protein:

  1. concentrated (in addition to the protein also provides carbohydrates and some lipids),
  2. isolated (only protein, practically free of carbohydrates and lipids),
  3. hydrolyzed (protein partially digested by enzymes, which maximizes and accelerates absorption).

For those who are concerned about weight management, you should opt for an isolated protein. Since it will already include a source of carbohydrate in the meal. For those who just want to increase muscle mass and weight and do not have lactose intolerance, you can opt for a concentrated protein.

Hydrolyzed protein is practically justified only for professional athletes or for people with allergies to milk proteins. Due to their high price. Hydrolyzed protein is the best post workout supplement for early morning.

Hydration and Antioxidants

post workout food

In addition to the mentioned nutrients, it is also important to eat foods rich in antioxidants. Such as red fruits and citrus. Among others, that will block the action of free radicals produced naturally by the body during exercise.

On the other hand, hydration (before, during and after training) also plays a key role in post-workout recovery. They helping to restore sweating losses and prevent injury.

Post Workout Feeding: What to Avoid?


Among foods to avoid, are foods high in fat, including foods that provide healthy fats ( nuts, oil, avocado, olives). Since the sensitivity to absorption is increased.

Prefer the ingestion of this type of food at a later stage than immediately after training. Also avoid foods with a lot of fiber, since their digestion and absorption are very slow.

Good post-workout-nutrition examples

post workout food

  • 1 White bread (50g) with boiled egg and chicken ham + raspberries
  • Isolated whey protein shake + banana
  • Oatmeal with egg whites + kiwi
  • Tuna salad and carrot, tomato and cucumber salad + banana
  • Grilled salmon with well-cooked pasta + Orange


Despite these indications about post-workout nutrition. It is important to note that all food choices require lifestyle adjustment and specific needs. Therefore, nutritionist supervision is imperative.

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