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What to Eat After Working Out

By Stephen R. Farris

You've just finished up the last set of your workout. Right now, you're feeling pretty good about yourself. The inches are starting to come off. Your clothes are fitting better than they have. As a matter of fact, you've already planned a little weekend clothes shopping to replace those duds that are too big for you. 

So you head to the locker room and get changed back into your street clothes. At this point, you're starting to feel a bit famished. Now the choices start pouring inside your head. Should you stick to your diet plan, indulge yourself with some fast food. A little cheat night shouldn't hurt, right? You can always make up for it with a few extra reps the next time you're at the gym.

Actually, that wouldn't be a great idea. Sure, cheat meals are fine occasionally, but if you want to maintain your nutrition goals they should really be avoided altogether, and this is why.

After workouts, your body is trying to recoup itself -- rebuild, repair, regrow. So getting the right nutrients to do this is very important post-workout in order for your body to do these things faster, especially ingesting carbs and proteins.

What this will do is:

  • Decrease muscle protein breakdown
  • Increase muscle protein synthesis
  • Restore glycogen stores
  • Enhance recovery

Protein Breakdown

During workouts, especially weight training, muscle protein gets broken down. Getting plenty of protein after a workout, such as lean chicken, fish along with other food sources that are protein-based, gives the body amino acids, which help build and repair muscles.


Consuming carbs after your workout helps to replenish your body's glycogen levels. Glycogen is used during exercise as a fuel source. 


Fats from food sources can be a little tricky. However, they're not always bad to consume after working out. A study shows that drinking a glass of whole milk was more beneficial in the promotion of muscle growth than from drinking skim milk. Kind of weird how that works since most fats consumed can actually slow down the rebuilding, regrowth process.

You can learn more about the right kinds of nutrients to consume post-workout, by talking with your local chiropractor. He/she can offer tips and suggestions about nutrition and may even have available literature for you to take home and read.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Melbourne, Fla.

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