Eating after a workout is a long debated topic. Today, however, scientists agree that consuming food between 30 and 60 minutes post workout is important to fuel your muscles with nutrition. Now that eating after working out is a commonplace, the arguments have shifted regarding the particular recommended foods. The post workout meal is by far the most important time for food intake in any athlete’s diet. The 30-60 minute window is critical and those who miss this window of opportunity are making a big mistake. The body’s muscles are starving for nutrients after they have been pushed to their limits. Now the questions lies in what foods are most advantageous for the body’s performance.

Replenishing energy sources and building muscles comes as a direct result from a proper post workout meal. The focus of the meal’s components must be on carbohydrates and proteins. The following are the most recommended meals to consume following a workout:

  • Protein shakes
  • Bananas
  • Chicken with mixed vegetables
  • Eggs, orange juice, and avocado
  • Spinach and salmon with sweet potatoes
  • Brown rice with tuna and mixed vegetables
  • Hummus and whole grain pita
  • Whole wheat bagel with almond butter
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Chocolate milk

Supplying the body with amino acids, carbohydrates, and protein is critical to replenishing the body with what was lost during the workout. During hard exercise the body losses important amino acids and glycogen stores, requiring replenishment. Fueling your body with a full meal post workout that focuses on protein and carbohydrates will not only help to promote muscle growth, but will keep your body in tiptop shape.