This blog post may be for you if you:
- workout and then feel RAVENOUS throughout the entire day
- feel super sore after intense workouts which then derails you from your next workout
- wonder why you’re not losing weight despite working out
- notice that you have more fat in your midsection than other parts of your body DESPITE working out and eating healthfully
One of the biggest tips that I can give my athletes-whether their runners or women who are looking to get back into working out is to EAT within 3–45 minutes of working out. Here are 3 reasons why:
- Your body needs calories to do it’s job post-workout. Immediately after working out, our body is still burning calories at an accelerated rate. It’s called your “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.” In layman’s terms- this means that your body still needs energy after working out to repair muscles, burn fat, and prepare your for your next workout. Eating within 30 minutes helps give your body what it needs to burn fat and repair muscles. In short, you need to eat to lose. And, if you want to build muscle, you need to FEED it.
- Exercise is like wringing out a sponge. Exercise depletes your body, so in order to recover, you want to “restock.” Eat 250 calories in that 30 minute window. There’s plenty of science to show that during the post-exercise window, a balanced snack is absorbed right into the glycogen stores-not your fat stores- and helps your muscles recover. Essentially, those calories are used immediately, not stored. This also helps your body feel better the next day and alleviates any soreness you might feel. If you struggle with post-exercise soreness, eating close to your workout will help you tremendously the next day!
- Eating within 30-60 minutes of working out takes your edge off hunger so that you can make healthier choices later. I know that sometimes the LAST thing you want to do after a hard workout is eat, BUT typically what will happen is that hunger will come back ten-fold later on that day. Giving your body calories within 30 minutes of finishing your workout will send a signal to lower your stress response and let it know that everything is a-okay. Your body won’t need to signal you to eat like a horse later in the day because you’ve provided it with the calories it needs.
So what should you eat?
Make it super simple! Think protein + carb. Protein helps your muscles rebuild and repair while the carbs will restock your glycogen stores which will lower your stress response and give you energy for your next workout. I also REALLY love adding in BCAAs because they help tremendously with protein synthesis- a process where your body is building LEAN muscle. Remember, the more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate.
No need to overcomplicate it- here are some of my favorite meals post workout-
- Smoothies with a scoop of protein powder, BCAAs, 1/2 banana (or other fruit), and peanut butter. I love Beachbody Recover for my protein powder- it has 20 G or protein, BCAAs, only 5g of protein and tastes SO yummy.
- Egg scramble with veggies and cheese.
- Greek yogurt with berries and whole grain cereal or flax seeds.
Do you eat within 30 minutes of working out?? What are some of your favorite post workout meals?
p.s. I’ll be teaching and helping women learn more about timed nutrition in my next challenge group that starts January 8. If you’re stuck- hit a plateau-and are sick of “diets,” I would love to have you in the group to teach you more about what I’ve learned around nutrition and metabolism. Want more information? Fill out the form below and I’ll be in contact 🙂