Don't Forget To Refuel!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


How are you today? Hopefully amazing!

Yesterday was one of those crazy days at the office where I literally did not even sit down long enough at my desk to log into my e-mail until 4:00pm! I seriously feel like I pulled up to the gym, and then all of the sudden I was back in my car at 8:30pm breathing heavily from running around! The time sure does fly when you are busy!

Luckily, I got in a 5.5 mile workout in the morning, and then attended a yoga class (to film the instructor) in the afternoon. I will never complain about working out being a built in job requirement.

Yesterday, we talked all about what to eat before you workout so today we are going to discuss what to put in your pie hole after you workout! :)


The first thing we need to talk about is how soon after your workout you should eat. Ideally, you should eat within 30-60 minutes of completing your workout. Directly after your workout, your muscles are in the perfect state to absorb nutrients directly into the muscle instead of storing them as fat. This is the time where depleted glycogen can most easily be restored. Waiting too long to eat post workout can actually starve your muscles and make your workout less effective.

After a workout, especially a lengthy or intense one, your body needs both protein and carbohydrates to properly repair itself. Protein provides amino acids which are the building blocks of muscles, hormones, neurotransmitters, bones, and many other things. Carbohydrates are needed to replace all of the glycogen your body just used up to power you through your workout. This combination of protein and carbs has also been shown to reduce cortisol which is a hormone that can break down muscle.

Post workout, your body is practically begging you to feed it, which makes it the perfect time to eat a full meal. I always try to get in my runs in the morning so I can use a hearty breakfast to feed and reward my body after a hard workout! The ratio of carbs to protein post workout is still under debate and varies based on what your goals are and the type of workout you just completed (ex: a 10 mile run vs. an hour long strength training workout). A lot of people feel like they have to buy expensive protein powders to properly refuel after a workout. This is simply not the case. According to Nancy Clark, who is a member of the American Dietetics Association, "commercial sports foods can offer convenience — but they are not better than chocolate milk, yogurt, fruit smoothies (made with fruit and yogurt) or any other carb-protein combination."

Post Workout Food Ideas:
  • A bowl of Oatmeal topped with nut butter or a scoop of protein powder
  • A protein (whey, soy, vega etc) shake made with water or the milk product of your choice - Be sure to watch the sugar and calories in these, they can get outrageous pretty quickly.
  • Scrambled eggs with a piece of whole wheat toast
  • Protein Bar - I love Think Thin, Luna, and Larabars
  • Greek Yogurt with granola
  • Tuna and whole wheat crackers
  • Grilled chicken and brown rice
  • Chicken and vegetable stir fry
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread
My post workout fuel - scrambled egg whites and an orange

The options are really endless! Post workout fueling is really important after intense or long workouts; however, if you hop on an elliptical for 30 minutes or take a yoga class, you don't have to rush to the nearest smoothie shop to grab a protein shake. Although it's important to refuel your muscles, you also don't want to undo all of your hard work by eating all of the calories you just burned. If you make sure your post workout snack is equivalent to the workout you just completed, you will be good to go!

Q's and A's:
What is your post workout snack or meal of choice?
Do you carefully monitor your carb to protein ratio in pre and post workout snacks or do you just eat what feels right?

In health,

share this on »
 photo facebook_zps8d483e9e.png
 photo twitter_zps1a2a45e0.png
 photo pinterest_zps549d2941.png
Add a comment »

Leave a Reply

I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment below.