After exercise? Yes or no? If yes, what? That depends on your goal. We have put together tips for eating after exercise to build muscle and lose weight.
Wondering if you should eat before or after exercising? The answer is both! It doesn’t matter whether you want to build muscle, lose weight or just stay the way you are. Sounds easy? If you know your goal, it is too. Because that has a major impact on what is best served on the plate after exercise.
Eating after exercising - the basics
Your post workout meal is of particular importance and the basis for properly regenerating yourself and giving yourself full power in the future. After training, the first thing to do is to replenish your energy stores. Since your glycogen synthesis is highest immediately after exercise, we recommend consuming quickly available carbohydrates immediately after exercise. In the further course, complex carbohydrates should of course continue to be the first choice. Protein is just as important after exercise because as an important part of the body it supports you faster regeneration of your muscles.
The amount and timing of the macronutrients you need are particularly dictated by what your exact goal is.
Eating after exercise: muscle growth
Muscle proteins are broken down or damaged during exercise. After strength training, protein is therefore the be-all and end-all. To support muscle building, whey protein – whey protein – is best, as your body can absorb it particularly easily. If you want lactose-free protein, a vegan protein that combines various amino acid sources is perfect
Protein + BCAAs - perfect for building muscle
In the first 45-60 minutes after training, your body uses protein directly to build muscle. 20 g of protein in combination with carbohydrates or BCAAs are ideal. BCAAs and easily usable carbohydrates from bananas or fruit bars stimulate the release of insulin. Insulin has an anabolic effect, i.e. it builds muscles and supports the “repair” of muscles after training.
Our tip for building muscle
The ideal muscle building foods after exercise
To build muscle, you need to ingest more calories than you use. What else should your body use to build its muscles? This means that all recipes that are high in calories and still balanced and healthy are ideal.
The more balanced you eat, the better your body is supplied with all vitamins, minerals and trace elements. A healthy body is best at building muscle.
Basically, you should make sure that you eat high in protein. But please don’t forget the quality: cheap factory-farmed meat does not count. It is best to rely on high-quality organic meat and fish and always incorporate vegetable protein sources such as legumes, quinoa, avocado and nuts into your food after exercise. They convince with valuable micronutrients and unsaturated fatty acids. If you combine plant-based foods skillfully, you can also cover your protein needs with veggie dishes.
Vegetables and fresh fruit should always be with you, as well as carbohydrates. Chickpeas, for example, are perfect: they provide protein and carbohydrates at the same time, carbs help you to achieve your excess calories and provide valuable micronutrients. If you eat cereals, be sure to choose whole grains.
Secret tip: Post Workout Shake
If you have to go fast, smoothies are the perfect choice. Creamy, creamier, our whey protein. You can now enjoy your protein shake in the new favorite flavor chocolate peanut. So irresistibly delicious. And thanks to the high protein content, it is perfect for building muscle.
Eating after exercise: losing weight
Anyone who wants to lose weight should starve after exercising. Or nibble on a salad with a low-fat dressing? No! Even if you want to lose weight, you can and should eat after exercise. A look at the logic of losing weight explains why.
To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. That means you have to burn more calories than you use. But if you want to look not just thin, but also defined, your body needs enough nutrients and calories to maintain the muscles. If you don’t eat anything after exercising, you risk being skinny-fat. Thin, with fat, without muscle.
Protein + vegetables - perfect for losing weight
In order to get a defined and toned body, you need muscles. That’s why the following also applies to weight loss: Immediately after exercise, 20 g of protein is ideal for building muscle. Don’t worry – you won’t get fat arms from it.
The ideal weight loss food after exercise
The best way to lose weight is to use a combination of protein and fiber when eating after exercising. While protein supports muscle building and prevents muscle breakdown, fiber keeps you full for a long time. Vegetables are particularly rich in fiber and low in calories. So, for example, tofu or fish in combination with salad or vegetables would be ideal.
By the way, you don’t have to do without fat: cold-pressed olive oil for the salad, coconut oil for frying and avocado have many unsaturated fats that you can safely eat even after exercising. Of course, the following applies anyway: Make sure you don’t consume more calories than you consume.
Which protein is right for you?
A classic whey protein is always a good choice right after training. Your body can use whey protein particularly quickly and use it well to build muscle.
Vegan Protein is ideal for a balanced and lactose-free protein supply. Especially if you consume a lot of protein, you should rely on different protein sources and also incorporate vegetable proteins.
Protein better before or after exercise?
Scientific opinions are still divided on whether protein is sufficient after training or is helpful before training. The fact is: after training, it is essential to achieve your goal. During muscle building training in particular, you should eat enough protein throughout the day – i.e. before training if necessary.
But there are also studies that indicate that protein before training stimulates protein synthesis and promotes muscle building even during training. The combination with easily digestible carbohydrates or BCAAs makes sense, especially before training: They provide additional energy for training.
- Whatever your goal, post-workout eating is a prerequisite for achieving it.
- Your diet should always be balanced and varied.
- A protein-rich diet is important for both building muscle and losing weight.