Knowing what to eat after a workout can make the difference between feeling awesome and feeling like you have no energy left to do anything the rest of the day.

 

And we know that it can affect the outcome of your training too. I’ve advised many clients about changing their post-workout nutrition habits and it usually results in improved results.

 

The recommendations I’m making below are specific to strength training. For cardio, keep it simple: just eat whenever it’s next time to eat.

 

Whether you’re currently trying to lose body fat or build muscle, what you eat immediately after a workout should rarely vary. It’s what you eat the rest of the time that matters for achieving your specific goal.

 

Read my guides to fat loss and lean bulking for more information.

 

And then check out my guide to pre-workout nutrition so you know what to eat before a workout.

 

So, here’s my simple guide to what to eat after a workout.

 

 

What to Eat After a Workout: A Simple Guide

 

 

What to eat after a workout: early morning workout

 

If you’re planning on training before breakfast, your breakfast is your post-workout meal. Eat it 60-90 minutes after your training session.

 

So if you’re planning to train around 7 am, have breakfast at 8 or 8.30 am.

 

Your post-workout meal should contain plenty of protein, some healthy fats, and some carbs. I usually recommend a low-carb breakfast, but most people need a few carbs to recover from a strength training session. The simplest thing to do is eat eggs, meat or fish with a piece of fruit.

 

Here are a couple of ideas:

– two or three eggs (cooked to your liking) with blueberries.

– some smoked salmon with raspberries.

 

Check out my blog post on breakfasts for more ideas. Add a piece of fruit to those that don’t have fruit listed.

 

You can also drink a protein shake – one scoop of protein powder plus water – immediately after your workout. If you’re trying to build muscle, I highly recommend adding in the shake.

 

A simple whey protein isolate would probably be the best kind of protein powder. I’m a fan of the Kaizen brand, but any whey isolate is fine. If you’re sensitive to whey protein, vegan protein would serve you better. I like Vega One.

 

Then eat your breakfast 60-90 minutes later.

 

 

What to eat after a workout: mid-morning workout

 

Keep it simple. You’ve already had breakfast, and you’ll be eating lunch within a few hours of finishing your workout.

 

Assuming you took care of your pre-workout nutrition, just drink a protein shake: one scoop of protein powder mixed with water.

 

 

What to eat after a workout: lunchtime workout

 

Your post-workout meal is going to be your lunch. Make sure it’s high in protein, fibre, and has a moderate amount of starch. Eat it 60-90 minutes after your workout.

 

As with breakfast, I usually recommend a low carb lunch, but an exception can be made after strength training. A chicken salad with rice or quinoa would be perfect.

 

Just use the formula “lean protein + veggies + a small portion of carbs (rice, quinoa, potato etc.)”. Time it so that you eat lunch 60-90 minutes after your workout.

 

You can also drink a protein shake – one scoop of protein powder plus water – immediately after your workout. If you’re trying to build muscle, I highly recommend adding in the shake.

 

Then eat lunch 60-90 minutes later.

 

 

What to eat after a workout: afternoon workout

 

Keep it simple. You’ve already had breakfast and lunch, and you’ll be eating dinner within a few hours of finishing your workout.

 

Assuming you took care of your pre-workout nutrition, just drink a protein shake: one scoop of protein powder mixed with water.

 

 

What to eat after a workout: evening workout

 

Your post-workout meal is going to be your dinner. Make sure it’s high in protein, veggies, and has a moderate amount of starch. Eat it 60-90 minutes after your workout.

 

For example, steak, broccoli and a medium sized sweet potato would be a great post-workout meal.

 

Use the examples in my low carb dinners blog post for more inspiration, but add a small portion of rice, quinoa or potato to each.

 

You can also drink a protein shake – one scoop of protein powder plus water – immediately after your workout. If you’re trying to build muscle, I highly recommend adding in the shake.

 

Then eat dinner 60-90 minutes later.

 

 

 

Questions? Comments? Other post-workout meals that have worked well for you? Leave a comment below.

 

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