The aim of post-workout nutrition is to promote recovery between training sessions and optimise training results. Your post-run nosh should:
1. Refuel the muscle and liver glycogen (carbohydrate) stores
The main dietary factor in post-workout refuelling is the amount of carbohydrate consumed. The amount you require will depend on the fuel cost of the workout and the timing of your next session.
If an intense workout is planned within the next 24 hours, consuming carbohydrate within the first hour of finishing is ideal for replacing glycogen stores. The meal or snack should provide 1-1.2g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight.
The table below includes meals or snacks that provide 50g of carbohydrate.
Carbohydrate-rich recovery snacks (50g carbohydrate)
• 700-800ml sports drink
• 2 slices toast/bread with jam or honey or banana topping
• 2 cereal bars
• 2 large bananas
• 1 cup thick vegetable soup and large bread roll
• 1 large fruit bun or scone
If your goal is weight loss, you can still aim to refuel glycogen stores before your next session. However, it’s important that the post-workout meal is considered as part of your overall energy budget. You may wish to plan for one of your main meals or snacks to be consumed straight after your workout. This meal should provide a nutritious carbohydrate source along with other nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals.