"I often don't feel like eating after I exercise, but I've heard it's best to eat within 30 minutes. Why is this and what foods should I be eating?" — Kate
Keep reading . . .
It's common not to feel like food straight after a workout, but what you heard is correct. It's best to eating something within 30 minutes to an hour after exercising in order to refuel and allow recovery to take place. Your body loses a lot during a workout (including lots of sweat!) and this small window period straight after allows your muscles to take in protein — amino acids necessary to rebuild muscle tissue — electrolytes like potassium and carbohydrates.
They then get stored away for energy and muscle repair. Of course you can wait longer to eat, but your muscles are less likely to take in the nutrients from these foods, which can lead to a decrease in energy and leave you feeling stiff and sore.
The most ideal meal to have after a workout is a combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fluids. Think: protein drinks, eggs, bananas, smoothies, nuts, yoghurt, salmon or chicken. And lots and lots of water!
If you don't think you'll be heading home straight after working out it's best to keep some snacks in your gym bag or a protein bar like Well Naturally High Protein Mini Bars in Double Chocolate ($7.59).
I hope I've helped Kate! — Steph, POPSUGAR health and beauty journalist
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