Your post-workout meal can influence the overall effect exercise has on your body. Providing your body with the correct nutrients is crucial to stop the catabolic process in your muscle and shift the recycling process toward repair and growth.
Research has shown that eating fewer grain carbohydrates after exercise more effectively enhances your insulin sensitivity than calorie restriction. Additionally, amino acids from high-quality animal proteins and carbohydrates from vegetables can help your body repair itself after exercising.
Good sources of animal protein include:
Beneficial sources of carbohydrates include:
Vegetables (excluding carrots and beets which are high in sugar)
Dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard
Low fructose fruits like lemon, limes, apricots, plumbs, cantaloupe, and raspberries (avoid high fructose fruits like apples, watermelons and pears)
Ideal times to eat after a workout:
After a cardio workout, wait 45-60 minutes and then eat a high-quality protein and vegetable carbohydrate (for example, a spinach salad with chicken)
After a resistance workout, consume your post-workout meal 15-30 minutes after finishing your workout to help you repair your damaged muscles