Post-Workout Meal: Should You Eat It?

Should You Have a Post-Workout Meal?

             One of my clients, a 25-year old guy entered a contest on for who could lose the most fat in a 90-day period (keeping in mind that he was already quite lean to begin with). So naturally, he had the question of whether you should have a post-workout meal.

            For him, the answer was “yes.”

            What’s the answer for you?

 Read on.

 As you know, the answer to most general questions is “it depends.” What does it depend on?

 Are you trying to lose body fat? If you are, then you probably shouldn’t have a post-workout meal (you shouldn’t eat within 1-2 hours after a workout). Why? Because after a workout your body is burning primarily fat, and it will do so until your next carbohydrate-filled meal.

Of course there is the other argument that after a workout, most of the food you eat go into muscle cells to replenish lost nutrients as opposed to fat stores. This is correct, but quantities matter. If you burned let’s say 60 grams of carbohydrates during your workout (that means 240 calories from carbs. If you’re looking at the machine to tell you how many calories you burned, it’s telling you total calories, not specifically calories from carbs), your post-workout meal can have up to 60 grams of carbs without putting on body fat.

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you (after all, there’s both an argument for a post-workout meal and against), let’s put it all together.

We know that everyone is different, so how do we (myself and my fellow trainers) figure out what’s right for any individual person?

We measure and we look at recovery and energy levels.

For 2 weeks, we have a client eat a post-workout meal. And we take a measurement of their body fat. Then, for another 2 weeks, we have a client not eat a post-workout meal, and again, we take a measurement of their body fat. The situation that had the better progress is the one we go with.

Just keep in mind that as your body changes, so too may your situation. If when you were 30% body fat, you didn’t require a post-workout meal, you may need it when you’re 12% body fat.

Now, what if you’re trying to gain muscle or enhance your athletic performance?

In that case, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” You definitely should have a post-workout meal.

As long as you’re not trying to lose body fat, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a post-workout meal.

\"\"                                                               Original Source: Here.

What about you? How soon after a workout do you eat, and what do you have? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

Quick Summary

  • If trying to lose body fat, whether you eat after a workout or not should be determined based on:
    • Body fat changes
    • Energy levels
    • Other symptoms
  • If trying to build muscle or enhance athletic performance, definitely eat after a workout.


Like It? Share it.

If you found this article beneficial, please share it on social media using the buttons below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top