As much as you hear about pre-workout supplements and drinks, what you eat to refuel after a workout may be even more important. Your body needs protein and complex carbohydrates to repair your muscles and help replenish your energy stores. For those on the low-carb, high-fat keto diet, the question then becomes: will too much fat hinder your progress?
To be clear, fats are not the enemy, nor should you fear them — healthy fats may even help burn stubborn belly fat. It's more important to ensure that you're getting an adequate amount of protein after a workout, according to Molly Devine, RD, LDN, founder of Eat Your Keto and advisor to Remedy Review.
"There is only a certain amount of protein that can be absorbed and used by the body, and any amount beyond that gets converted to glucose to be stored as glycogen or fat," Molly told POPSUGAR. She suggests eating about 20 to 30 grams of protein to help replenish the amino acids that build muscle. It may take longer for your body to break down the fat in your diet since it's more calorie-dense, but eventually the protein will reach the muscles — as long as you're eating enough.
Still, Molly explained that you should focus on eating balanced meals, rather than loading up on protein after a workout. Here's her three-step plan for building the perfect post-workout meal on the keto diet:
- Start with three to four ounces of your preferred protein, like steak, salmon, or chicken.
- Aim for 25 to 30 grams of fat on your plate, from sources like coconut oil or grass-fed butter.
- Fill your plate with nonstarchy vegetables for a maximum of 10 grams of carbs. Some options include leafy greens, broccoli, mushrooms, and zucchini.