Post Workout Foods To Eat After Your Fitness Session

Make the most of working out by ensuring that what you eat after training will help you get the best nutrients into your body and not hinder your post-workout recovery. Put the best fuel in your body and you supercharge the restoration of your body’s energy stores and the growth of your muscles. In your everyday life, it may be better to eat low GI foods which digest your meals more gradually like certain types of fat and fibre. But after a tough exercise session you want food that can be absorbed rapidly by your body so your post-exercise session recovery can begin in earnest.

So, what should you eat after your workout? For optimal nutrition after exercising, you should eat carbs and protein primarily. These types of food help your body increase muscle protein synthesis or growth, rebuild your reserves of glycogen energy and generally enhance your recovery. Eating the right protein and carbohydrates soon after you exercise will help your body recover faster and make you feel ready sooner for another trip to the gym!

When to Eat After a Tough Workout

Don’t delay eating after an energising session. Try to get some food into your body within 45 minutes of working out and definitely eat before two hours has elapsed. The timing of your post-workout meal does matter as you want your recovery process to be as efficient as possible and to start as soon as possible. In some studies, gym users lost up to 50% of their glycogen restoration by delaying their after-workout feed for more than two hours. If you want to maximise the muscle-building and fat-losing benefits of your gym workout, then you need to eat as soon as possible after your exercise session finishes.

Drink First for Effective Post Workout Recovery

Before you eat your fill of carbs and protein after your workout, make sure to take in plenty of liquid. Keep rehydrating after your exercise as you will have lost plenty of water and electrolytes through all that sweat. Replenishing these with water or a healthy liquid after a workout can really help your recovery and maximize your fitness results.

refuelling after workout - post workout foods blog

Feed Your Fitness with Plenty of Protein

Protein helps repair and build muscle so it’s ideal for your post-workout snack or meal. During a sweaty gym session muscle protein is broken down. By eating a sufficient amount of protein after exercising you provide your body with the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. You also offer your body the material required to add new muscle tissue. Simple and easily digested protein sources that you could include in your after-training meal include:

Animal or plant-based protein powder

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar (but check the label for ingredients, particularly sugars)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
protein food - post workout food blog

Cram in Some Carbs After Your Gym Exercise

You’re usually panting after an energetic session in the gym and no wonder. Your body’s energy reserves, glycogen stores, have been expended in your fitness workout. A great way to help replenish glycogen after exercise is to eat some carbs. As cardio causes your body to use more glycogen than strength training you might need to consumer more carbohydrates than a weightlifter typically would. While eating, both carbs and protein can maximize protein and glycogen recovery so you should try constructing your after-exercise meal in a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3:1. Carbs that are ideal ingredients in healthy post-workout meals include:

  • Dark, leafy green vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits (particularly pineapple, berries, banana, and kiwi)
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Sweet potatoes

Foods You Should Avoid After a Workout

What foods should you avoid post-workout? As we mentioned above, fat and fibre should be avoided for the most part after training. Why? Fat and fibre slow down the rate of digestion at just the moment you want foods that are rapidly absorbed so you promote weight loss and muscle growth. Fat won’t however reduce the benefits of your workout overall so having some good fats in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery. Fats you could include in a healthy post-workout recipe include:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters

A Fun Diet of Fitness with Xercise4less Gyms

When you’re a member of Xercise4less Gyms, we always support you to perform better and to reach your fitness goals. And a great way to supercharge your fitness journey is to eat great foods after your gym session. But consuming the right nutrients after you exercise isn’t the only secret of success for Xercise4less gym members.

Our gym facilities are full of calorie-burning equipment as well as innovative workout areas that help you shed excess weight faster like the Ladies Only Gym Zone. You can also pick your favourite group workout from up to 40 top fitness classes or train with our personal fitness staff to create an individual exercise plan that will work for you. Join Xercise4less Gyms and you’ve taken the first bite of a real recipe for improved health and wellbeing.

Fitness For Life Menu: Week 1-4: Starting your Fitness Journey

get rid of your love handles - plank

Introducing yourself to your Fitness Journey:

Ease your way into the journey to ensure you build up your fitness as naturally as possible, maintaining more efficient and realistic results. It will take up to four weeks for you to start seeing your body change, so don’t panic or throw in the towel if you fail to see improvements after the first week. Compose your own workout from the options below; factoring in the length of workout you want to perform and your current fitness level. We recommend you give all the options a try, eventually finding the right exercises that can help you achieve your personal targets.

Menu 1 - Sam Chia X trainer

Menu 1: It takes 4 weeks for you to start seeing your body change

Starter – Warm up

  • 2 mile walk on the treadmill
  • 250m on the rower
  • 2 miles on the bike
  • Burn 100 calories on the cross trainer
  • 5-minute stretch
Menu 1 - Chia treadmill walk

Main – Full Body

  • 50 bodyweight squats
  • 30 push ups
  • 20 tuck jumps
  • 10 burpees
  • 20 mountain climbers
Menu 1 - Sam Chia push up

 

Dessert – Core

  • 30 second plank
  • 50 ab crunches
  • 30 seconds of flutter kicks
  • 40 heel touches
  • 20 Russian twists
get rid of your love handles - ab crunch

We have selected these activities to help ease you into a new routine. The exercises are not too rigorous but will leave you feeling as though your session has been worthwhile. This is an introduction to 2020, and of course, we have catered for an overindulged festive season.

What's next?

After you have completed the first menu, turn your attention to the next menu with increased intensity and difficulty. 

Fitness For Life Menu: Weeks 5-8: Owning your Fitness Journey

fitness for life - sam chia - main
fitness for life - sam chia x trainer

Build up the intensity to start noticing results

Over the next four weeks, you will build-up your intensity, pushing your body further than you did in the previous menu. This is the time frame in which others will begin to notice your hard work, giving you a sense of achievement and encouragement to follow the next sequence of exercises. Again, tailor the options provided to meet your targets and ensure you gain the most from your workouts. As your body adapts to the increased intensity, the exercises will become easier on a weekly basis.

Menu 2: It takes 8 weeks for your family and friends to see your results

Starter – Warm up

  • 1 minute of step ups
  • 5 minute incline walk on the treadmill
  • 50 calories on the bike out of the saddle
  • 2 miles on the cross trainer
  • Climb 5 flights on the stepper

 

Main – Full body

  • 10 jump squats
  • 5 pull ups (assisted or non-assisted)
  • 20 weighted walking lunges
  • 30 second dead hang
  • 30 seconds of high knees

 

Dessert – Core

  • 20 leg raises
  • 45 second plank
  • 30 toe taps
  • 20 reverse crunches
  • 10 ‘V’ sits

Following this segment of the journey will help you to feel more comfortable and in more control of your fitness journey, giving you the confidence to challenge yourself and maximise your workouts. At this point, your family and friends should be starting to notice transformations of your body. This sequence will also make you aware of your improved levels of fitness as well as bettering your general wellbeing.

fitness for life - sam chia step ups

Keep going, take your fitness journey to the next level...

As you continue your fitness journey, you will start to feel the benefits of your hard work with real results beginning to show to those around you. See the third menu for the next step of the journey.

Fitness For Life Menu: Weeks 9-12: Taking your Fitness Journey to the next level

X4L fitness for life - Sam Chia Plank

Push the boundaries and reach your goals

Ramp up the tempo of your journey over the next four weeks with high-intensity exercises to improve your fitness levels. Working on all parts of your body, this menu delivers a variety of exercises and workouts to give you exactly what you need to further your development and see a transformation in your body, with visible results for all your hard work and dedication over the past 12 weeks.

X4L fitness for life - Sam treadmill jog

Menu 3: It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to see your results

Starter – Warm up

  • 20 box jumps
  • 1-mile jog on the treadmill
  • 100 calories on the bike
  • 2 miles on the cross trainer
  • Climb 10 flights on the stepper

 

Main – Full body

  • 10 barbell squats
  • 20 burpees
  • 1-minute jabs on the bag
  • 1-minute wall sit
  • 20 kettlebell swings

 

Dessert – Core

  • 30 second side plank
  • 1 minute of bicycle kicks
  • 30 Russian twists
  • 50 scissor crunches
  • 10 weighted Turkish get ups

Once you have completed this phase of the journey, your body will have successfully adapted to the gradual build-up in intensity and difficulty of the exercises. Thus, ensuring an improvement in your physical condition which will be noticeable to all those around you. Your journey does not stop here, though. Continue to develop and progress your fitness levels to prevent throwing all your hard work over the past 12 weeks away.

X4L fitness for life - russian twists

Your fitness journey doesn't stop here...

Whilst you have gone through a significant change to your fitness regime over the past 12 weeks, it is important not to become complacent. Your fitness journey is for life not just a short-term project. Now you have a range of exercises and experiences to draw from, you can customise your own workout programme accordingly. If you feel you need more guidance or more assistance, feel free to ask one of our friendly personal trainers who will be more than happy to offer their expertise to ensure you continue smashing your targets with us at Xercise4Less gyms. After all, fitness is for life, not just for January.

Fitness is for life, not just for January

rowing machine-workout guide
X4L fitness for life - Sam Chia Plank

Our Fitness Menu for your 2020 Gym Journey

Attack the new year with easy-to-follow workout menus from Xercise4Less gyms. Whether you are new to fitness or a seasoned campaigner, we have exercises to cover all levels of fitness. Simply build your workout by selecting the exercises you want to do from the options provided. We advise you give all the exercises a try, adopting your workout to suit you. Gradually build up your fitness and intensity by following our menus which have been split into four-week blocks. Each block will raise in difficulty to match your rate of progression and give you that sense of achievement when you are able to tick off your fitness goals. 

Menu Composition: How to structure your workout

We have created the simple menu-style format to break down the exercises into a starter, main and dessert. The starter component will be your warm-up, main will include a specific body part exercise, while the dessert offers a range of core exercises. All the exercises can be easily implemented into your workout, fitting around your individual goals and targets.

Fitness Menu: A Breakdown

  • Weeks 1 - 4: An introduction to your fitness journey
  • Weeks 5 - 8: Increasing your intensity
  • Weeks 9 - 12: Noticing results
X4L fitness for life - Sam treadmill

Building up your Fitness Journey: Key Points

  • Try every exercise
  • Be patient - results won't happen overnight
  • Stay motivated

Whether your target is weight loss or increasing muscle, we have you covered with an array of workout menus to keep you focused and on track throughout your fitness journey. All the exercises featured on the menu have been specifically selected to provide you with a platform to not only meet your goals, but to completely obliterate them. Here at Xercise4Less gyms we want to see you complete your fitness journey just as much as you do.

Know your Goals: Own your Fitness Journey

  • Weight loss
  • Increasing muscle
  • Improve your fitness levels

All the menus have been constructed with gradual progression in mind. We know it will take time for you to see results, and there will be those gruelling sessions along the way. Slow and steady wins the race. It is far healthier to build up your fitness over time than to be expecting it to happen overnight. With this in mind, the exercises will become more difficult and more challenging on your body to enable your journey to be a fruitful one. Your journey is in your hands, you can adapt your usual workout to incorporate the exercises, or, you can make a workout from the exercises – whatever works best for you. After all, nobody knows your own body and your capabilities better than you!

Start your fitness journey with our first menu which covers weeks 1-4. We’re fully behind you, every step of the way. Happy new [fitness] year!

lose belly fat waist measurement - shutterstock