Here’s What You Should Be Eating After You Workout

Post-workout nutrition can be a minefield to navigate. With different tips coming from every direction, does it really need to be so complicated? We don’t think so! Here’s what you need to know.

Workout type matters

What you do during your workout matters most! Our body gravitates towards different sources of fuel for different types of exercise. So what you are doing should be factored into your post-workout nutrition.  

Lifting (aka strength training)

 When training with weights, what you’re effectively doing is creating tiny amounts of muscle ‘stress’ and tears (which is a great thing for muscle growth.) This requires a recovery period to follow, and an emphasis on protein to rebuild and repair those muscles.

The amount of protein needed after a strength training workout ranges between 20-30 grams. Although, this will vary from person to person based on their own specifics. Ideally, this should be consumed within 30 minutes following the session.

For intense resistance sessions, it’s suggested that 20-30 grams of lean protein and 30-40 grams of healthy carbs should be consumed within 30 minutes of completing the workout.

Due to this small window of opportunity to uptake your protein goal after a strength session, some people opt for protein powders. This is very much a personal preference and there is no solid evidence that whole foods cannot be just as effective.

Examples of post-strength workout meals/snacks:


This type of exercise is different from weight training, and the source of fuel used during cardio is predominately glycogen. Replacing your glycogen is essential to your body’s restorative process, and carbohydrates are the best source of glycogen.  

For less intense workouts or those that are less than an hour, a single piece of fruit can be sufficient. Fruits like banana, melon, berries and apples are a great source of energy and they contain nutrients including carbohydrates, vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants and fibre, all which support recovery.

For a more high intensity, 60 minute + cardio session, the range of carbohydrates that you need is approximately 1gm of carbs per 1kg of bodyweight.

Good examples of post-cardio workout refuel include:

Let’s not forget that no matter what day of the week it is, your hydration should not be neglected either! 

Pairing up adequate hydration with a smart approach to post-workout meals will offer you the best chance at recovering quicker, feeling energetic and keeping your body happy as it works behind the scenes to keep us healthy and ready for the next workout session!

For further help with your diet and nutrition, or to learn more about our 12WBT nutrition programs, visit us here.

Louise McDonald, Cert III & Cert IV Fitness
Louise has been a Trainer and Wellness Coach for almost 20 years and is one of our experienced Support Crew members in Fitness, as our Lean and Strong Captain! Louise has worked passionately with all levels of fitness over the years across both Australia and the UK, where she has specialised in competition training with athletes for the last decade. She has worked closely with top level competitors and even our own 12WBT peeps to bring home a National Trophy! She lives, breathes, eats and sleeps weight training and is super passionate about teaching others how to reach their full potential.

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