Foods You SHOULD Eat After a Workout and What NOT to Eat

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Which specific foods should we avoid after a workout? As it turns out, choosing foods are not that intuitive. Therefore, we consulted trainers and experts to help us out.

Below are the best and worst foods to eat after exercising.


1. Fatty Foods

Skip the seeds, oils, anything fried, and even nuts after your workout. “Fat acts to slow the digestion process in your gut and will, therefore, delay the delivery of much-needed nutrients into the muscles,” explains Paul Roller, the coach at CrossFit Outbreak.

2. Fast Food

Maybe there’s a Burger King that is next to your gym that tempts you and your craving every time you pass by it, but, do whatever you can to stay away. “While you may crave salt after working out, fast food options will not be good at replenishing your body,” according to Stephanie Mansour, a weight-loss and lifestyle coach for women, “You’ll be eating trans fats and just basically undoing your workout.”s

3. Fruit Drinks and Soda

Yes you are thirsty after a workout, but whatever you do, do not replenish the lost fluids with sweetened beverages, and this also includes sugary sports drinks.

Whether it’s fructose filled fruit juices, or soda, drinking sugary drinks after an intense exercise is counterproductive for anyone that is seeking to lose weight, due to the slowing effect on the metabolism.

Take a sports drinks only if your workout required you to sweat profusely in order to replace the electrolytes you lost. But, in quenching your thirst, rehydrate and replenish electrolyte, go with plain water and consume a potassium-rich banana.

4. Red Meat

A workout that is followed by brunch is one of our favorite activities, and though you might think you have earned a plate of breakfast sausage or bacon, certified personal trainer and weight-lifting coach Kyra Williams suggests you avoid any “fatty meats.”

The saturated fat that these foods contain not only slows metabolic function, but also impairs learning and memory within 10 minutes of eating, according to board-certified family medicine practitioner Christopher Calapai, DO. This is especially unfortunate considering the fact that your workout just did much in improving brain function.

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A study from the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia reported that even 20 minutes of exercise expedites memory and information processing, the very operations a plate of bacon can undo.

5. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods, anything with sriracha, salsa, or hot sauce—are hard to digest, and you will want to stay away from these choices. “Your body had just accomplished a major effort and is in a state of repair,” according to Michelle Neverusky, Fitness Manager of Carillon Miami Beach. “It needs things that are easy to digest, a little sugar, a little protein, to bring your sugar levels back to an even level, and mostly carbohydrates to replenish your energy levels.”


1. Bananas

High-sugar smoothies are not recommended post-workout, but if you are a fruit lover, you are in luck: Both fitness instructor Diana Mitrea and Erika Hammond, a personal trainer at Rumble Boxing said that bananas are one of the best things you can eat after hitting the gym. Bananas are rich in “carbs and potassium… both of which need to be replenished” as per, Hammond.

2. Starches

Personal trainer and weight-lifting coach Kyra Williams said that it is a good idea to accompany your protein source with “a starchy carbohydrate.” She recommends choosing one such as corn, rice, or potatoes, which contain maltodextrin, which is a complex carbohydrate that is absorbed directly through the gut and “helps the body digest the protein faster” minus the “potential for fat gain.”


With this information, you can now make a more beneficial and healthier food choices to eat post-workout and what to avoid. Just remember that, what you eat affects your body and the outcome of your workout.


Related Articles:

  1. Never Eat These 7 Foods Before a Workout
  2. Morning Workout Rules to Start Your Day
  3. 5 Best Dumbbell Workouts for the Chest

photo credit: pixabay

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