Post-Workout Nutrition: What Should I Eat?

By Nicole Kiley, MS, RD

The science of recovery nutrition ultimately boils down to the combination of four main categories: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fluids and Electrolytes. The combination of these elements is needed in order to refuel, rehydrate, repair and rebuild muscles after a training session.

Strength Training

Goal: increase strength, build muscle
Weighing 150 pounds
2 or 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
55 g Carb to 25 g Protein
12 oz. coconut water
¾ cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 small banana, frozen
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 large handful baby spinach
1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Endurance Training

Goal: optimize training, performance
Weighing 150 pounds
*Note for exercise >90 minutes, recommended 30-60g carbs per hour during exercise in addition to the recovery meal listed below. With extended endurance training, you will also need to replenish fluid and electrolytes
4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio
Breakfast Bowl w/ Hardboiled Egg
80 g Carbohydrate to 20g Protein
½ cup rolled oats
1 small banana, sliced
2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. hemp seeds
1 pasture-raised egg, hardboiled

Circuit Training/Mixes it Up

Goal: weight management, general wellness, weight loss
Weighing 150 pounds
1 or 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio
Yogurt Parfait
30 g Carb to 30g Protein (1:1)
¾ cup Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
¼ cup organic granola
1/3 cup mixed berries
Chicken or Beef Bowl w/ Fresh Fruit
60 g Carb to 30g Protein (2:1)
3 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast or grass-fed steak
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked veggies
Hot sauce
½ cup fresh berries or tangerine

While finding time for a workout can be a task in itself, ensure you take the time to plan your recovery nutrition! You have a window of opportunity to capitalize on your hard work by giving your body what it needs to adapt. Don’t forgo this chance because of poor planning. Get those results you are looking for by consuming your post work-out meals within 15 to 60 minutes of completing a workout. Your body will thank you!

*Note: These nutritionals are a rough estimate and can be further adjusted to meet your specific needs.