Best Post-Workout Meal Ideas: What to Eat for Recovery

Kaelin Tuell Poulin, LadyBoss Co-Founder, Weight Loss Expert, Best Selling Author

Kaelin Tuell Poulin is an award-winning fitness professional, best selling author, and weight loss expert who personally lost 65 pounds in 7 months. The founder of The LadyBoss Movement, her LadyBoss Formula has helped tens of thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.

Good Post-Workout Meal

We know an excellent pre-workout meal is essential, but what about a good post-workout meal? 

Have you given much thought to what good post-workout foods you should eat after an intense workout?   If not, you’re in the right place. 

The best post-workout meal ideas should be all about restoring what your body lost during exercise.  Good post-workout meal ideas also provide all the nutrients your body needs to build itself back stronger.  Ideally, the best post-workout meal strikes the right balance between protein, carbohydrates, and yes, even fat.

So let’s start with the macros when looking at good post-workout nutrition and dive into what each one contributes to a great post-workout meal.

Good Post-Workout Meal: Protein, Carbs, and Fat

As we said, when it comes to post-workout meals, what to eat for recovery, or however you want to look at it, it needs to be about balance around the three macros.

First, let’s look at protein.  Protein is the most common macro thanks to those easy post-workout meals, such as your post-workout LadyBoss LEAN ® shake.  But what does it do for your body?  Well, protein is the bigger hitter when it comes to repairing the muscle you broke down during exercise, thanks to the amino acids contained within the protein.  It also plays a significant role in building the new, lean-mass that we aspire to when we start working out.  It should account for around 50% of your post-workout meal.

When researching post-workout meal ideas, carbohydrates should play a significant role in your planning.  When you exercise, your body uses your stored glycogen as energy.  Eating adequate amounts of carbohydrates after exercise helps restore your glycogen.  Consuming both carbohydrates and protein together maximizes protein and glycogen synthesis, helping you recover faster and stronger.   A post-workout recovery supplement, such as LadyBoss RECOVER®, can further aid with muscle recovery and better promote glycogen synthesis.  Carbohydrates should account for around 40% of your post-workout meal. 

As for fats, fats are the macro that tends to get a bad reputation but doesn’t deserve it.  When eaten in moderation, healthy fats can promote muscle growth after a workout.  Regarding the bad reputation, it was believed for a while that eating fats after a workout slowed down the absorption of your post-workout meal and reduced its benefits.  This has since been proven wrong time and again. Fats can account for 10-20% of your post-workout meal.

Good Post-Workout Meal: What To Eat and When

Now that we’ve touched on post-workout nutrition, what to eat after a workout is the next discussion topic.  That, and when to eat it.  Timing your pre and post-workout nutrition is crucial to the benefits you gain from your meal.  

When it comes to timing, the focus shifts primarily to protein and carbs.  As we mentioned earlier, after exercise, your body is looking for ways to restore its depleted glycogen and protein stores.  That’s why consuming carbohydrates and protein sooner than later after a workout is essential to utilize glycogen synthesis.

While there is no definite time frame, most experts recommend eating your protein and carbohydrates within 45 minutes after you finish exercising.  Waiting for more than two hours to eat after exercise can lead to 50% lower glycogen synthesis rates.  

The question that remains is that of what to eat.  To make it easy, we’ve broken down our top choices of post-workout food sources per each of the three macros. 

Great Post-Workout Foods For Protein:

  1. Protein powder, such as LadyBoss LEAN®
  2. Eggs 
  3. Tuna 
  4. Greek yogurt 
  5. Chicken (grilled)
  6. Tempeh 
  7. Tofu

Great Post-Workout Foods For Carbohydrates:

  1. Brown rice
  2. Quinoa 
  3. Sweet Potatoes 
  4. Leafy greens
  5. Oatmeal 
  6. Fresh berries 
  7. Whole-grain pasta 

Great Post-Workout Foods For Healthy Fats:

  1. Avocado
  2. Nuts 
  3. All-natural nut butter 
  4. Cheese 
  5. Whole Milk 
  6. Chia Seeds
  7. Dark Chocolate 

Put it all together with these great post-workout meal ideas:

  1. High-Protein LEAN Smoothies 
  2. Oatmeal, with protein powder and fresh berries
  3. Whole-grain cereal with milk
  4. Greek yogurt with fresh berries 
  5. Brown rice cakes with nut butter and fresh berries
  6. Grilled chicken with veggies (roasted or fresh) 
  7. Egg omelet with veggies, leafy greens, and/or avocado

Post-Workout Meals and You

You’ve got the knowledge, you’ve got the facts, so when it comes to a great post-workout meal, the rest is up to you.  Always keep in mind that just as proper pre-workout nutrition is essential, so is your post-workout food.  Your pre-workout fuels you up and gives you what you need to perform at your best.  With your post-workout meal, you’re refueling and supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to build itself back better and stronger. 

As with most things, post-workout meals simply require a little pre-planning. But that extra step ensures that you are supporting your body’s post-exercise needs so that, in the long run, you begin to see the results of all your hard work in the gym. 



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