Having a plan for fueling your body for all the hours you’re spending swimming, biking, and running is key to being a healthy, strong, and happy athlete. While sports nutrition can be overwhelming to navigate it doesn’t have to be. A great place to start building solid nutrition habits is what and when you eat after your training sessions. Here are 7 post-workout nutrition tips and what you need to know about post-workout fueling:
- Eating after your workout is important for muscle repair and recovery. This is especially important for triathletes as you are likely training almost every day of the week and sometimes even twice a day.
- What you eat post-workout matters. To help your body recover, we ideally want to have a meal or snack that has both carbohydrates and protein as these two macronutrients play important roles in this recovery process. Aim to have a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
- Carbs are your friend. Why? Carbs are the predominant fuel for moderate and high intensity training seen in endurance exercise. Some of this fuel is stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen, but this cannot be solely relied upon for fuel during our workouts. This makes it necessary to replenish these stores after and between our sessions.
- Pay attention to timing. A good rule of thumb is to have this fuel within sixty minutes after your session. Start to make it a practice and find which foods work best for your schedule and preferences.
- Remember to re-hydrate! Sounds simple enough but it can easily be lost when you’re rushing from a workout to work or the next task for the day. Staying hydrated improves recovery, performance, and decreases the risk of injury, among other benefits.
- Pre-plan. Most athletes tend to be juggling many hats, so planning your post-workout meal or snack in advance and keeping it simple are key to making this a habit.
- What does this meal or snack look like? While exact portions will vary between athletes and workout intensity/duration, here are some ideas to help you fuel up post-workout:
- Fruit and cottage cheese
- Yogurt with granola and fruit
- Trail mix and string cheese
- Chocolate milk
- Protein bar and a piece of fruit
- Nut butter sandwich with apple slices
Following these 7 post-workout nutrition tips to fuel up after your workouts can help you make the most out of your training schedule and put you on the path to reach your goals.