Post Workout Nutrition | What to Eat after Different Workouts

Post Workout Nutrition | What to Eat after Different Workouts

FITPASS Editorial Team31 January, 2020Updated on : 29 May 2023

If you workout, you workout hard. We all do what we can. However, do you ever find it hard to eat right after the workout? Well, that happens to most of us. Inevitably, you start feeling hangry, shaky, or even anxious. You might be wondering how to avoid all this. Well, the answer is to eat properly after working out and on time. Eating the right foods on time replenishes the energy expended during the workout. However, that’s not the only reason to eat well and on time. The only way to get the best of your workout is to eat well.

Post-workout foods give your body the required nutrients to maintain blood sugar levels and avoid fatigue. The body needs these foods for cellular repair and muscle recovery. Therefore, take extra care of what you eat because that will help you to workout properly. Want expert advice on your nutritional needs? Get FITFEAST and consult expert nutritionists wherever you are. Get diet recommendations, track your calorie intake, get water reminders with just one app.

The Importance of Post Workout Foods

Certified dietitians emphasize the importance of pre and post workouts foods irrespective of whether you are a professional or an amateur. Your body utilizes the carbs stored in the form of glycogen to create protein for the muscles. Therefore, it is important to replenish these stores after each workout.

You must have heard that the muscles cannot grow without proper post-workout foods. Did you ever wonder why? It is because muscles are the most responsive to nutrient intake during the first 30 to 90 minutes after the workout; they are more sensitive to certain hormones and nutrients.


  • Avoid low energy and muscle tissue breakdown by replenishing carbohydrate (glycogen) store
  • Prevent a lack of glucose. It can decrease concentration and alertness making you feel low
  • Choose good sources of carbs like cereals and whole-grain bread


  • Consume protein to repair damaged muscles
  • Protein-rich foods provide amino acids that repair and build muscles
  • Choose lean protein sources like eggs, low-fat dairy, nuts, lean meats, legumes, etc.  


  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • You lose fluids when you workout and continue to do so a little after you’re finished. Therefore, keep sipping on fluids during your workout as well
  • Don’t judge the level of hydration by how thirsty you are. Instead, you can tell by the color of your urine if you need more water or not. The darker the color, the more dehydrated you are

Post Workout Foods for Different Types of Workouts 

What to eat after a Cardio Workout

What to eat after a cardio workout

A cardio workout should be followed by foods that replenish your carbohydrate stores in addition to drinking fluids to stay hydrated. Having a whole-grain bread slice with peanut butter and a banana will replenish the potassium stores. This way you get good carbs, healthy fats, protein, and soothe your muscles. You can also have a banana with a handful of nuts as a post-cardio meal. A couple of slices of whole grain toast with fruit, cottage cheese, tomato, or ricotta is a good option as well.

Certain athletes like cyclists and endurance runners need a specific amount of calories to be able to perform properly. They need to consume electrolytes while exercising in addition to pre and post-workout foods.

What to eat after a Yoga class

What to eat after a yoga class

Replenishing your energy levels and repairing the tired muscles should be your aim with your post-yoga food choices. After a yoga session, your body needs some low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates, fruits or veggies,  and some protein. Have a little bit of Greek yogurt with some nuts and fruits or natural muesli. Otherwise have chopped veggies, some tuna or bean mix.

What to eat after a Strength Training session

What to eat after strength training session

Consuming lots of protein is essential if you want to gain muscle. Only an energy-rich diet can sustain a well-curated strength training program. Your diet should provide lots of nutrients and should be low in fat. Muscle gain warrants an increased intake. As it goes with most workout routines, you must consume protein after a strength training session. Having carbohydrates along with protein enables your body to repair the muscle fiber and allows them to grow.

If you have to head out right after your workout, then you should have a smoothie. Berries, low-fat yogurt, some spinach, and protein supplement and you're good to go. Chocolate smoothie with milk, cacao, banana, and protein powder is also irresistible. This mix provides protein, fats, carbs, and minerals like magnesium and potassium.

What to eat after a Pilates class

What to eat after a pilates class

Pilates is a great workout routine with which you can lose weight, strengthen your core, and even increase your muscle mass. You should have a nutrient-rich meal within an hour of your workout if you want to lose weight after a Pilates workout session. If you want to increase strength, then you need to consume protein. Hard-boiled eggs with multigrain bread or roasted vegetables is a good idea.

What to eat after a HIIT class

What to eat after a hiit class

A high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session is one of the best ways to stay fit within short periods of exercise. After your HIIT workout, have  an omelet with sauteed capsicum and onion along with a bowl of fresh fruit like pineapple.

Eggs contain protein and trigger muscle protein synthesis. Capsicums are packed with Vitamin C, which is essential to maintain healthy cartilages that provide cushion to your bones. Pineapple, for that matter, contains an enzyme called bromelain which is known to reduce exercise-induced inflammation. You can also have oatmeal with mashed banana and chia seeds.

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