Exercise takes time and dedication. Since you’re already putting effort into your workouts, why not put an effort into what happens after you leave the gym, too?
With a healthy meal delivery service, you can ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to stay strong.
Research shows that ingesting nutrients early after working out improves recovery. You need carbohydrates and protein to help your body get through the muscle protein and glycogen synthesis recovery period. Otherwise, you might not get the results you hope for from your workout.
Ready to work out your post-workout plan? Keep reading to discover how healthy meal delivery can help after a vigorous workout.
Why the Right After-Workout Meal Matters
Before we talk about the foods you need from a healthy meal delivery service, let’s talk about your workout.
When you exercise, your muscles use their stores of glycogen as fuel. After you workout, your body is somewhat depleted of glycogen. This can cause some muscles to break down.
During this period, your body will try to rebuild its glycogen stores. Otherwise, it can’t repair those damaged muscles.
By consuming protein and carbs after a workout, you can help your body make these repairs faster.
The right nutrients also:
- Improve your body’s overall recovery
- Restore your body’s glycogen stores
- Help you muscle proteins grow
- Keep your muscle proteins from breaking down
For this to work, you need a balance of three macronutrients: carbs, fats, and proteins.
How quickly your body breaks down muscle protein depends on your workout intensity. Your current training level plays a part, too. Even if you’re a longtime athlete, your body will still experience some muscle protein degeneration after exercising.
To repair and rebuild proteins, your body needs amino acids to work with. Amino acids can help your body build new muscle, too. With a protein-rich, healthy meal delivery plan, you can get the protein your body needs.
A few ideal after-workout proteins include:
- Greek yogurt
- An animal- or plant-based protein powder
So how much protein is needed after a workout?
Quickly following your workout, try to consume between .14 and .23 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Try 20 to 40 grams of protein to start.
Carbs after a workout can help replenish your body’s glycogen stores, too.
Different exercises and physical activities can impact how quickly you deplete your glycogen stores. For example, endurance sports will cause you to lose more than you would with resistance training.
Consider consuming more carbs if you participate in sports such as running, basketball, football, or swimming.
Regardless of the exercise you choose, an after-workout carb-rich snack is still important.
Aim for .5 to .7 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.
A few example carbs for after your workout include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy vegetables (such as kale)
- Rice cakes
For the best results, try to consume these carbs with protein within 30 minutes of exercising.
Insulin secretion promotes your body’s glycogen synthesis. To stimulate insulin secretion, your body needs carbs and proteins together. Eating both after your workout can help promote glycogen synthesis.
A healthy meal delivery subscription can help you get the right balance of carbs and proteins you need after each workout.
Consuming healthy fat won’t impact your body’s muscle glycogen synthesis.
A few examples of fats include:
- Nuts (such as almonds or peanuts)
- Nut butters (almond butter or peanut butter)
However, it’s still important to limit how much fat you eat. A little during your post-workout meal is okay.
Time It Right
After you exercise, it’s easier for your body to rebuild glycogen and protein.
That’s why many people suggest you eat carbs and protein after a workout. The right timing can help your body make the most of the rebuilding and strengthening process.
Try to schedule a post-workout meal within 45 minutes of exercising. If that’s not doable, aim for a window within two hours of your workout.
Delaying carb consumption, however, can hurt how effective your body is at synthesizing glycogen.
Eating a high-carb, high-protein meal before exercising can also help your body after your workout. By timing your meals right, you can maximize your body’s muscle protein synthesis and glycogen storage.
Finding the right combination of post-workout foods is essential. With a healthy meal delivery service, you don’t have to waste time planning meals. Instead, you can focus on your workout while still getting the nutrients you need.
A meal delivery service can provide you with meals such as:
- Salmon, broccoli, and rice
- Grilled chicken, pasta, and zucchini
- Tuna, potatoes, and mixed vegetables
Here are a few sample post-workout snacks you can plan for in combination with your healthy meal delivery service:
- A protein shake and banana
- Multi-grain toast with almond butter
- Pita bread, hummus, and a little olive oil
- Greek yogurt with berries and granola
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, too!
You lose water after you sweat. Drinking fluids that are high in electrolytes can help with post-workout recovery and performance.
Remember, it’s important to time it right. Make sure you replenish your fluids within 12 hours of your workout.
How much water you need usually depends on your workout’s intensity. If you’re sweating a lot, you’ll probably need more water. You’ll also need to check your hydration if you’re exercising outside in the sun.
To determine your body’s fluid needs, check your urine. If your urine is dark, you’re not drinking enough. Your urine should appear a sticky-note yellow if you’re properly hydrated.
Drinking too much water is just as dangerous as drinking too little. Without enough water, however, you’ll lose energy, experience spasms, or get a muscle cramp.
Choose Healthy Meal Delivery for The Perfect Post-Workout Plan
It’s time for a snack attack! With a healthy meal delivery service, you can make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Otherwise, you might not experience the results you’re looking for after each workout.
Ready to discover the perfect post-workout meal plan? Explore our workout meals today to get started!