Skip Nav
Workouts
Get a 6-Pack With This Trainer's Intense 7-Move Ab Workout
Celebrity Fitness
The Cardio Exercises Halle Berry Swears By to Maintain a Lean Figure and Burn Calories
Breathing and Exercise
Beginner Fitness Tips
Check Your Breath! No Matter Your Workout, We Have Some Helpful Tips For You
Does Alternate Day Fasting Help With Weight Loss?
Personal Essay
I Did Alternate Day Fasting, and This Is What My Belly Looked Like After 3 Weeks
Weight Watchers
Trying Weight Watchers? Here's a Full Week of Meals to Get You Started

What Should I Eat After a Workout?

This Is How You Should Refuel Your Muscles After a Workout, According to a Sports Dietitian

Photographer: Cera HensleyEditorial and internal use approved. OK for Native and co-branded use.

How many times have you been at the end of a workout class and heard your instructor tell you to refuel your body with protein within a couple of hours after the class is finished? It's a popular phrase touted by trainers and fitness professionals, and it's true that protein is important to repair muscles, ultimately aiding in muscle growth.

But many people neglect another important macronutrient for your muscles: carbs. While carbs have gotten a bad rap, especially when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, they can actually help fuel your muscles. That's because your body relies on glycogen (which is created from carbs and stored in you muscles, liver, and brain) to fuel muscles and workouts.

"During workouts, the body relies and depends on muscle glycogen," Jim White, RDN, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, told POPSUGAR. "Having low levels of muscle glycogen . . . would negatively affect performance for high-intensity exercise." Not only can carbs help fuel your workout, but they help repair muscle tissue after exercise in a process called "muscle glycogen resynthesis."

ADVERTISEMENT

The Refuel Formula

So when you're recovering form your workouts, it's important to eat carbohydrates, too — you need to replace the glycogen that you used in your last workout. Ideally, after a moderate to intense workout, you would be eating a combination of protein and carbs to fuel your muscles and replenish glycogen stores. If you're looking to put on muscle, Jim recommends eating a macro breakdown of 55 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 20 percent fat.

So throw some fruit into your protein smoothie, grab an apple and peanut butter, or snack on low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers — the possibilities for post-workout snacks are endless.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Cera Hensley
From Our Partners
Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower Bowl
Expert Tips For Reducing Bloat
High Sodium Foods
Worst Forms of Protein
Low-Carb Fruit
Healthy Recipes For College Students
How to Meal Prep For a Week
What Happens When You Stop Eating Dairy?
Keto Snacks
Best Keto Food From Costco
Whole30 Food List
Healthy Breakfast Hacks
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds