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What To Eat After Workout To Lose Weight?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What to eat after workout to lose weight? After you workout you deplete your glycogen stores which is the body’s preferred fuel source during workouts. The proteins in your muscles are broken down and damaged during any type of strenuous workout.

The best foods to eat after a workout are carbs and proteins. You need to carbs to restore your energy levels. And you need protein foods to help restore your muscles and recover after tearing down your muscles.

What to eat after workout to lose weight? Photo credit: iStock-Suzi Media Production

Consuming enough protein throughout the day gives your body enough amino acids to repair and rebuild those proteins. That gives you building blocks that are needed to repair new muscle tissue.

The types of protein foods that you should focus on to eat after a workout to lose weight or for recovery purposes are:

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Protein bar
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Animal protein or plant-based protein powder

When you consume carbs, it helps to replenish the glycogen stores that you have lost during the workout. If you are doing an endurance type of workout it uses more of your glycogen stores than doing a non-endurance workout. So, because of that you may need to consume more carbs post workout wise than if you were to do weightlifting.

The timing of your post workout meal is very important. It is recommended you consume your post workout meal within a 45-minute post workout window timeframe.  If you do it within that window it will replenish your body the right way and help with weight loss.

Remember it is very difficult to lose weight or bodyfat without being in a caloric deficit. You still must eat solid whole foods to lose weight. And starving yourself is a counterproductive weight loss method or strategy.

Here are some good carb foods to eat after a workout.

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Rice Cakes
  • Barley

The best beverage to drink after a workout is water or some form of electrolyte. During a workout you lose water and electrolytes through sweating. So, hydrating yourself immediately after your workout or during will help to replenish the water and electrolytes you have lost.

Here are some good meals or snacks to eat after a workout.

  • Grilled chicken with green vegetables and brown rice
  • Turkey with sweet potato
  • Oatmeal with banana, almonds, and whey protein shake
  • Non-sugary cereal with dairy or soy milk
  • Tuna salad sandwich with whole grain bread
  • Greek yogurt with berries and granola

You will never go wrong with these post workout snacks or post workout nutrition.

“The best foods to eat after a workout are carbs and proteins. You need to carbs to restore your energy levels. And you need protein foods to help restore your muscles and recover after tearing down your muscles.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is if you eat carbs and protein after you work out  that is best for recovery purposes. And if you can do this within that 45 minute to 1 hour window after you workout, that will immediately help to restore your glycogen stores and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

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References

  1. Ivy JL, Goforth HW Jr, Damon BM, McCauley TR, Parsons EC, Price TB. Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Oct;93(4):1337-44. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00394.2002. PMID: 12235033.
  2. Zawadzki KM, Yaspelkis BB 3rd, Ivy JL. Carbohydrate-protein complex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 May;72(5):1854-9. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1992.72.5.1854. PMID: 1601794.
  3. Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Feb;88(2):386-92. doi: 10.1152/jappl.2000.88.2.386. PMID: 10658002.
  4. Miller SL, Tipton KD, Chinkes DL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. Independent and combined effects of amino acids and glucose after resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Mar;35(3):449-55. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000053910.63105.45. PMID: 12618575.
  5. Poole C, Wilborn C, Taylor L, Kerksick C. The role of post-exercise nutrient administration on muscle protein synthesis and glycogen synthesis. J Sports Sci Med. 2010 Sep 1;9(3):354-63. PMID: 24149627; PMCID: PMC3761704.
  6. Biolo G, Williams BD, Fleming RY, Wolfe RR. Insulin action on muscle protein kinetics and amino acid transport during recovery after resistance exercise. Diabetes. 1999 May;48(5):949-57. doi: 10.2337/diabetes.48.5.949. PMID: 10331397.
  7. Ivy JL. Glycogen resynthesis after exercise: effect of carbohydrate intake. Int J Sports Med. 1998 Jun;19 Suppl 2:S142-5. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-971981. PMID: 9694422.
  8. Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Feb;88(2):386-92. doi: 10.1152/jappl.2000.88.2.386. PMID: 10658002.
  9. Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jul;273(1 Pt 1):E122-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1997.273.1.E122. PMID: 9252488.
  10. Kreider RB, Campbell B. Protein for exercise and recovery. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Jun;37(2):13-21. doi: 10.3810/psm.2009.06.1705. PMID: 20048505.
  11. Tipton KD, Ferrando AA, Phillips SM, Doyle D Jr, Wolfe RR. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol. 1999 Apr;276(4):E628-34. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1999.276.4.E628. PMID: 10198297.
  12. VanDusseldorp TA, Escobar KA, Johnson KE, Stratton MT, Moriarty T, Cole N, McCormick JJ, Kerksick CM, Vaughan RA, Dokladny K, Kravitz L, Mermier CM. Effect of Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation on Recovery Following Acute Eccentric Exercise. Nutrients. 2018 Oct 1;10(10):1389. doi: 10.3390/nu10101389. PMID: 30275356; PMCID: PMC6212987.

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