Eating after a workout is the most crucial time to gain massive muscle growth and restore your body’s energy after a hard workout. However it’s important not to eat just anything and you also need to take in account when to eat.
How long after a workout should I eat something?
Immediately after your gym session you should drink a small protein shake and eat something really small. Eating too much now might leave you nauseous.
In bodybuilding there is a time we call the Golden hour which is the hour after your workout. You should be eating your meal within this window of opportunity. However do not eat the whole meal, eat only half. You will eat the other half before 3 hours after your workout. You should eat 2/3rds of your daily protein and calorie intake within this 3 hour period for maximum muscle growth.
What should I be eating after workout?
After a workout you have depleted your body of amino acids and nutrients. If you do not eat right after a workout your body will be forced to get these nutrients by breaking down your muscle which you worked so hard on just now.
Amino acids are the essential building block for muscle growth and recovery, hormone production and other important body needs. Amino acids are replaced by eating protein; it might be a good idea to take some glutamine supplements after a workout as your body contains about 60% of glutamine which is an amino acids and most of this is lost during a workout.
You also need to get in carbohydrates to feed your body right after a workout. Your body needs to replenish its energy and this is the best source. Brown rice, potatoes or any other low GI carbohydrates would do the trick.
Let’s look at some great meals after a workout:
Steak and Sliced Tomato
Red meat is almost immediately absorbed by your body, so this is a great choice post-workout. Steak will help maintain your metabolism and is high in protein. Tomatoes will help with digesting as its rich in acid and fibre.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts and Veggies
Chicken is another great source of protein and when you strip the skin it is not as fatty. The vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. You can choose any kind of vegetable you like from carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli etc.
Whey protein shake
When you do not have a lot of time you can always opt to make a delicious whey protein shake, add in some yogurt and a banana or berries and you are good to go.
Salmon, Spinach and Sweet Potato
This is quite a well balanced meal that is rich in both protein and omega-3. The sweet potato and spinach is loaded with fibre and vitamins A, B and C. Salmon has been called the age-defying food as of late because it helps improve the production of collagen, keratin and melanin. It also helps your skin retain water and makes it less prone to wrinkles.
Tuna brown rice and vegetables
This is the bodybuilder’s food of choice not only because it’s so easy to make but because one tuna can contains about 42 grams in protein. The brown rice adds fibre and carbohydrates and the vegetables add in the needed vitamins and minerals.