Taking the time and effort to exercise is an essential first step. But, it is only half the battle. Whether you desire to lose weight, construct muscle, or complete in your very first triathlon, your diet is an essential for success. The food friend eat serves as the fuel for your workout and also building block for her muscles. It would be a waste to monitor the perfect fitness routine and ignore nutrition. The speak is true­—“You room what you eat”—especially with your pre- and post-workout meal.

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Before you exercise, it’s all around fueling her fitness. But if you’ve looked right into what to eat after working out or read around post-workout meals, the a different conversation. You might run throughout concepts choose nutrient timing and also carbohydrate-to-protein ratios. This post will to mark the research study on when you need to eat your post-workout meal, and the nutrients that you should focus on.

Nutrition for the rest of the Day

When have to You Eat her Post-Workout Meal?


Eating after ~ exercise deserve to be quite intuitive. That comes largely for one reason, you’re likely to be hungry. This is because your body just used a bunch the calories and wants to refuel itself. Exercise also breaks down muscle, and you need to eat protein to rebuild it.

The hunger you may feel after practice isn’t the just guiding pressure for your post-work meal. Science also shows you must eat after exercise.

Some of the very first researchers on the subject gave athletes chocolate milk post-workout (more around the nutrients in this “ideal” drink later). Coco milk enhanced energy and muscle recovery contrasted to those who had actually nothing after ~ exercise. The time of the milk was key to this benefits.

The window you need to eat ~ a workout for maximum benefit is described as “nutrient timing.” many of the early research had test subjects eating their post-workout meal automatically after exercise, 15 minute after, or 30 minutes after. This is why you might have heard people say you need to eat in ~ 30 minute of your workout. However, most of these at an early stage studies didn’t do a compare to more delayed time periods.

Recent research studies have increased on the early on studies. Researcher tested eating one hour and up come two hours after exercise. They likewise examined the difference between fasted exercisers compared to those who had actually a pre-workout meal. The outcomes turn out to be much more involved 보다 “eat within 30 minutes of her workout.”

What the study Says

The results present a post-workout meal is much more important in certain situations. It’s most crucial if you begin your exercise fasting or with only a tiny pre-workout meal. Favor if you practice in the morning, prior to breakfast.

A post-workout enjoy the meal is also more vital if she on a calorie-deficit diet (losing weight). This way those trying to shed weight, should ration some calories for automatically before and after a workout.

The benefits are much less pronounced if you started with a large pre-workout enjoy the meal or her diet has a calorie surplus (gaining weight). However you still see some benefits from eating a post-workout meal, and also should setup one.

The newer studies remove the urgency ~ above the time of her post-workout meal, though. So, girlfriend don’t must rush directly from the gym to the kitchen. You deserve to eat immediately, or wait up to two hrs after exercise and also still get the services of a post-workout meal.

The nutrient to Eat After working Out


As you currently know, her body requirements food because that energy and also to usage as building blocks. Physical task increases those needs. Yet those demands don’t boost equally for all nutrients. Part play a much larger role in recovery and also muscle development than others.



Protein is the building block because that the muscles in her body. Muscle is damaged down as soon as you exercise, and also your body needs dietary protein to rebuild itself. Exercise also triggers extra muscle growth. That’s why weightlifting renders you stronger. This creates an even greater should eat an ext protein and makes the one your optimal priorities after ~ exercise.

Your protein demands depend on your size and also the amount of protein you eat throughout the rest of the day. Aim because that 20–40 grams (0.25-0.40 g/kg human body mass) that protein after exercise. If you a smaller sized person, aim for 20 grams. A larger human being would need closer come 40 grams that protein after exercise.

In enhancement to protein after your workout, girlfriend should shot to eat that very same amount that protein (20-40 grams) four to five much more times transparent the day.

Focus top top high-quality protein resources that contain all the important amino acids. Some of the ideal sources of complete protein space milk, eggs, soybean beans protein, and meat. Protein digestibility-corrected amino mountain score (PDCAAS) is a tool for measure protein quality. That will aid you know which protein-rich foodstuffs to emphasis on.



Just together protein is required to fix broken-down muscle, carbohydrate are required to replenish expended energy. Glycogen—stored glucose—is her primary source of energy for the very first hour that exercise. The longer and harder you occupational out, the more your glycogen warehouse deplete. You will need to eat more carbohydrates to replenish it.

The research conducted 15+ years ago suggested spend carbohydrates in 3:1 to 6:1 ratio contrasted to protein. While this is still valid, much more recent research says you should take into account the exercise done and also your in its entirety daily diet.

Eating carbs have the right to start before and also during her workout. Eat them prior to exercise will aid fuel your workout and maximize that is potential. If you setup a long, challenging workout, also add some carbs follow me the way.

For post-workout carbs, you need to look in ~ how numerous calories you plan to eat because that the day. Refueling v carbs is essential after a workout. However eating too plenty of carbs right after a workout might quickly usage up your day’s calories. This is specifically true if you’re trying to lose weight. Prioritize protein first, then add carbohydrates together your calorie spending plan allows.

If you no trying to lose weight and just finished a really hard workout, a few hundred grams of carbs can be appropriate. However you need to eat fewer carbs (less than 50g) if your workout wasn’t an especially hard and you’re trying to lose weight.


Fat doesn’t play as direct of a role in exercise recovery as protein or carbohydrates. Too lot fat can, in fact, slow-moving down the absorption of the protein and carbs her body needs. The doesn’t median you must avoid it, though.

Feel cost-free to eat a mixture the high-protein and also high-carbohydrate foods that also contain fat. Just don’t overdo it or worry around targeting a collection amount that fat.

Chocolate Milk?


As pointed out above, some of the earliest research on recovery nutrition used coco milk. This research study showed hopeful results in muscle and also energy recovery. This lead plenty of to turn to cacao milk for your recovery meal.

Chocolate milk ended up being so frequently used and also referenced the many started to contact it the “ideal” post-workout drink. The was also stated to have actually the “ideal ratio” of carbohydrates to protein. When you look into this right ratio, though, periodically it is proclaimed as 3:1 (carbs to protein), various other times 4:1, and also even as high as 6:1.

Why all the confusion? Well, various mixes of coco milk have various ratios of carbohydrate to protein. The assorted researchers, nutritionists, and trainers additionally each had slightly various formulas they were using. And also finally, as we have learned from extr research, there is no “ideal ratio.” her post-workout needs are individual, and also depend on her body, exercise, and diet.

Ask Yourself how Much friend Sweat


Water is critical part of keeping your body to run well. When you exercise, you lose some water v sweat. And also it’s vital to replenish it.

Make sure to drink plenty of water during your workout. The body can lose one to three liters of liquid per hour through sweat. Her post-workout score is to replace any fluid shed that you didn’t drink throughout your workout.

And you lose an ext than water as soon as you sweat. It likewise contains a huge amount that sodium, which needs to be replenished.

The Salt in her Sweat

Sweat rate: 1-3 L/hour


Sodium in sweat: 0.5-2 g/L


Sodium lost: 0.5-6 g sodium/hour

You can lose 0.5-6 grams of sodium per hour through sweat. You must replace the post-workout v the food consumed to get your protein and carbs. If her workout is longer, you should start instead of the important mineral throughout exercise. This is why most sports drinks have actually sodium added.

Eat for your Individual Needs


When deciding on her post-workout meal, it’s essential to decide exactly how much you will eat. And also the lot is individual to you. That’s why the science moved away from simply telling you come drink a glass of chocolate milk. There is nothing not correct with coco milk post-workout, and it can be a part of her plan. Yet you could need something more or also something less.

Your protein requirements are mostly figured out by her body size. Her carb demands are chose by how numerous calories you eat each day, and also what girlfriend ate before and during your workout. Water must be spend throughout your workout, and continued v your post-workout meal.

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All of these determinants are different for you 보다 others at the gym. So, consider these elements and listen to your body. That means you have the right to maximize the hard work you’ve simply done.