Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration

The right food after exercise and the nutrients you need can help you with optimal regeneration and support you in your training goals.

After training is before training - the regeneration phase should be part of your sports program as well as the active performance phase in which you are performing. After all, you can only reach your full potential when your body is well recovered and receiving the right nutrients. Accordingly, this is always a preparation for your next training.

Your food after exercise plays an important role in this. Choosing the right foods will help you recover faster from exertion, build muscle and other goals related to your training.

Also have a look at our on the weekend YouTube Channel stop by, there you will find more detailed information on this topic.

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration


Why is eating after exercise important at all?

In order to understand why post-exercise food is important and which foods are the right ones, you need to know how your body is affected by exercise stress.

When you exercise, your muscles need energy and go into glycogen stores for it. Be there - especially in strength training - also some of the muscle proteins are broken down and damaged.1, 2 Two thirds of the glycogen in your body is in your muscles, where it is responsible for muscle contraction and the provision of energy.

Eating after exercising is important because the right combination of nutrients will speed up glycogen replenishment and muscle protein repair. Even if your goal is to lose weight, you should eat something after your workout. After all, you are missing many important nutrients after physical exertion.


This is why eating after exercise is important:

  • Reducing muscle protein breakdown
  • Increase in muscle protein synthesis
  • Restoration of glycogen stores

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration


Eating after exercise: When should you eat after training?

The ideal time frame for a meal is 45 minutes after training. However, you shouldn't wait longer than 2 hours before eating. Because after training, the body can build up protein and glucose very well.3, 4 It is particularly important that you rely on foods rich in carbohydrates and high in protein in a ratio of 3: 1.

Studies have found that if you only consume carbohydrates 2 hours after your workout, glycogen synthesis is 50% slower. If you have eaten something before training, it can still have an effect.5, 6

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration 


Eating after exercise: what nutrients do I need?

For eating after exercise, you should make sure that at your meal that Carbohydrates and proteins a ratio of 3: 1 to have. This can accelerate the protein synthesis of the muscles and support your regeneration. It is also important that you eat after exercising healthy fats puts on your eating plan.


Carbohydrates in food after exercise for glycogen storage

Since your body goes for your glycogen during your workout, carbohydrates are important for replenishing your storage. How much glycogen is used during exercise depends on its type. So you can assume that you consume more glycogen during endurance training than during strength training. Therefore, you should consume more carbohydrates during endurance training than a bodybuilder would in comparison.

For an optimal rebuilding of the glycogen stores, be daily 0,5 to 0,7 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight recommended - ideally 30 minutes after training.

Furthermore, the release of insulin is better stimulated when carbohydrates are ingested together with proteins, which in turn promotes glycogen synthesis.7

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration


Eating after exercise: protein for the muscles

How quickly your body breaks down muscle protein during training depends on your training level and the particular exercise.8, 9, 10 In order to repair and build this up again, your body needs amino acids, which you get from a sufficient amount of proteins and which are needed to build new muscle tissue and thus support you in regeneration.11 One is recommended daily amount of protein from 0,3 to 0,5 g per kilogram of body weight.


Healthy fats are also important for eating after exercising

Training and Nutritional myths there are quite a few. One of these is that many think that ingesting fat after exercising can slow digestion and inhibit nutrient absorption. However, it is important healthy fats in the diet in order to be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.


These foods are great for your post-exercise diet

When eating after exercising, you should make sure that you use foods that are easily digestible to speed up the absorption of nutrients.


This Carbohydrates are easy to digest:

  • berries
  • oatmeal
  • Rice
  • rice cakes
  • sweet potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain cereal

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration


What has many Proteins?

  • eggs
  • peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt
  • cottage cheese,
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Protein Shake
  • Tuna
  • Tofu

Here are ghealthy fats in it:

  • Avocado
  • coconut oil
  • flex seeds
  • Nuts
  • olive oil

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration 


Eating after exercise: losing weight and building muscle

If your goal is to lose weight, for example, many people rely on extensive endurance training. If your training lasts longer than an hour, for example because you run or ride a bike, it is an advantage if you eat food after exercise that has a higher carbohydrate content.

After strength training, a meal with proteins in combination with moderate carbohydrates is suitable for building muscle.


Eating after exercise: don't forget to drink water

Many people underestimate the effects of water. It also plays a major role in your recovery and performance. Some professional athletes even check their weight before and after training. If you are unsure whether you have drunk enough, you can take a look at the color of your urine. A pale yellow color tells you that you have drunk enough.

Eating after exercise: how to eat for optimal regeneration

Of course, it is important to drink enough at all times. No matter whether before, during or after training. During training, you also lose some sodium and potassium through your sweat, which is why you can replenish these stores with an electrolyte drink to help your regeneration. If you are optimally hydrated, your body already fulfills a basic requirement in order to achieve your maximum performance.12

However, it is particularly important that you refill your water reservoir after losing fluid during training if your next training session takes place again within the next 12 hours.


Recipes: what is the best thing to eat after exercising?

In our slideshow you will find some recipes and examples for delicious and nutritious food after exercise.


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You certainly put a lot of time and energy into your training. Of course you want to achieve the best possible result. You certainly know that exercise and nutrition are an important part of it. In order to promote your regeneration and therefore to perform optimally in the next training session, it is also important which food you put on your table after exercise.

A good ratio of the right nutrients promotes the protein synthesis of your muscles, improves regeneration and your athletic performance, and puts you on the right course towards your training goal. But it is not only important to eat after exercise, but also that you pay attention to your hydration and replenish the lost water and electrolytes during your training.















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