How to eat right after your workout

Whether you’ve just run a fast 5km personal best or done a long, slow cycle, lifted kettle bells or stretched out in a yoga class what you eat afterwards is important if you want to nourish your body. Here’s our guide on what to eat…

What: High intensity

Spin, sprint or boxing session? This uses fast twitch muscle fibres which depletes your energy stores, rather than your protein. You’ll need to fuel aftwards with a higher concentration of carbohydrates to protein, such as two poached eggs with wholemeal toast. 

If you’ve got another high intensity session coming up the following day (although, you should always follow something like this with a different kind of training, whether it’s a different energy system or body part), try something like yoghurt with some fruit and nuts or it could be something like pasta with a tomato and meat sauce.

If you’re training for weight-loss, always stick to a slow release carbohydrate to keep blood sugar levels stable. Good rule of thumb? Avoid anything white or beige.

 

 

What: Long, slow run or cycle

Running or riding for 90 minutes or longer? Then your body is fueling on the energy stored in your blood  muscles. Once you’ve finished, you’ll need to replace this with high glycaemic index carbohydrates so that energy is released quickly to help you recover. Protein is still important too for muscle recovery. Scrambled eggs on a white bagel with avocado and bacon or almond pancakes with banana and a tsp of peanut butter with berries. (the recipe for these comes with our Fit & Glow course). Eat within 30 minutes.

 

What: Strength workouts

Your body works in the anaerobic system when doing strength work, which means it uses energy from the muscles to power the movement. This creates microscopic tears in muscle fibres, and it’s when these are repaired that you build strength – and you’ll see a desired change. Don’t eat right after these workouts, which can include kettle bells, TRX workouts (or our Body Athletic classes) and you’ll undo all your good work. Eat protein after such a workout, which could be eggs, a mackerel salad, Thai beef salad, anything that adds some good quality, lean protein. (This does NOT include all the so called chocolate bars that have suddenly hit the shelves with added word protein to them!).

 

What: Yoga and Pilates

Unless you’re doing an advanced athletic Pilates class or a powerful yoga series like the Ashtanga Primary and Secondary series, be very careful that you don’t overeat after these kinds of classes. They use minimal energy, so a light snack of a raw protein ball (on our recipe sheets) or an egg salad should be enough.