Post-Workout Fueling

We often think about what to eat to fuel our workouts – but what about post-workout recovery?  Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on post-workout fueling:  who needs it + best strategies for nutrient timing to help your body refuel efficiently.

 Post-workout recovery: essential to optimize power & performance, reduce risk of injury & minimize fatigue 

 To Refuel Efficiently:

  • Process of rehydrating & refueling starts immediately post-workout; ideally within 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Muscle cells are like sponges, ready to soak up and replenish with fast-digesting carbohydrates. Including a source of protein can enhance this recovery process.
  • A 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein has been shown to be effective when it comes to replenishing glycogen stores (e.g. 60 grams carbs and 15 grams protein); at the very least aim for 2:1 carb:protein ratio.
  • Can be “real” food or supplements like bars or protein powder, or a combo of both.


5 “Real Food” Recovery Snacks:

 Chocolate Milk

  • Per cup: 160 calories – 30 grams carb – 27 grams sugar – 8 grams protein
  • 260 mg sodium & 400 mg potassium
  • 3:1 to 4:1 ratio carb:protein

Naked Juice – Protein Zone (no sugar added)

  • 420 calories – ~65 grams carb – ~55 grams sugar – 30 grams protein
  • 270 mg sodium & 910 mg potassium
  • ~2:1 ratio carb:protein

 Hardboiled Egg + Zico Coconut Water (best sodium content for electrolyte replenishment)

  • The pair = 150 calories – 16 grams carb – 15 grams sugar – 7 grams protein
  • 280 mg sodium & 700 mg potassium
  • ~2:1 ratio carb:protein

Turkey Sandwich on Whole Grain bread

  • Turkey is naturally rich in protein, potassium + sodium; bread provides sodium + carbs
  • Carb:protein ratio varies with type of bread + amount of turkey

Smoothie:  Whey Protein + Milk or Almond Milk + Tart Cherries + Banana + Sea Salt

  • Whey protein = fast-digesting, enters muscle cells quickly
  • Tart cherries can help reduce muscle soreness
  • Sea salt helps replenish electrolytes lost in sweat
  • Banana helps boost carb:protein ratio closer to 4:1


Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.

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