What To Eat After Cardio

by Jeff on May 31, 2011

In my previous post, I talked about What To Eat After A Workout. This post is about what to eat after cardio.

What you should eat after cardio depends on ‘why’ you are doing cardio. I will be talking specifically about:

  1. What to eat after cardio for faster recovery
  2. What to eat after cardio for weight loss

Wait 30 Minutes After Cardio To Eat

I talked about this in my previous article, but I will talk about it again here because it’s important. After your exercise session, blood will be pumping to the major muscle groups of your body. This weakens your digestion significantly. Waiting 30 minutes for your body to recover will help you digest the food you eat. To get the benefits of the food you eat, it’s all about digesting the food and integrating the nutrients into your body

What To Eat After Cardio For Recovery

If you are doing cardio strictly to improve performance, eat carbs after your cardio session for the fastest recovery. Don’t eat like this if you want better weight loss results.

Eating carbs 30 minutes after cardio will be the best way to restore glycogen to your muscles. Your body converts carbs into glycogen, which is a type of fuel that your muscles can use.

It is also important to include a high quality protein in your meal to optimize muscle recovery. Whey protein is great because your body can digest and integrate this protein very fast. In my previous post I talked about what to look for when buying whey protein, quality makes all the difference when it comes to this.

What To Eat After Cardio For Weight Loss

Wait 30 minutes after your cardio session and eat a meal with some high quality protein and vegetables. Avoid fruits and other carbohydrate rich foods. Eating carbohydrate rich foods increases your insulin levels.

Right after an intense cardio session (such as high intensity interval training), your body starts producing more growth hormones. These growth hormones will continue to help you burn fat for hours after the cardio.

However, if you increase your insulin levels by eating carbs, it will shut down your body’s growth hormone production. To get the full benefits of cardio for weight loss, do not eat these foods. Ideally you want to eat a whole cut of meat with leafy greens. A chicken (without breading) salad would be great.

Double Your Weight Loss

To double your weight loss, combine cardio with intermittent fasting. Check out my article on Intermittent Fasting To Lose Weight to learn more about it.

Get Exclusive Content and Learn Powerful Secrets That Most People Will Never Know About Building Muscle And Losing Fat To Get Ripped.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam- Look Like An Athlete June 2, 2011 at 9:28 am

Great tip. Having a protein shake can be a great option as the preparation time is very minimal and it provides a quick and solid boost of protein after an intense cardio session, preferrably HIIT or intervals.



Ghaida January 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm

can I eat Boiled egg after 30 min of interval cardio?


Jeff January 2, 2012 at 4:40 am



Brian April 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hello. Can i eat chicken breast, and a side of vegies, 30 minutes after cardio? will this reverse what i have done? will i gain the minimal fat i lost? let me know. Thank you.



Jeff April 6, 2012 at 5:44 am

30-60 mins after cardio, that’s a great option.


Mark September 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Can I take a multivitamin with my meal after fasting?


Jeff October 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Of course


Fitz April 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Is it ok to try loosing mass amounts of fat, and gain mass amounts of muscle at the same time?


Jeff April 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

It’s possible, but doing a lot of cardio and trying to gain muscle at the same time is not the best way to get there. Check out my post on How To Get Ripped where I talk about body recomposition (losing fat and building muscle at the same time).


Liz June 6, 2013 at 3:52 am

Will I still be able to get lean with a protein shake powder that has
18grams of carbs and 14 grams of sugar? I just had a baby 3 months ago so my priority is getting a flat tummy and I always workout at night due to my husbands schedule. Help please.


Jeff June 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm

As long as you’re eating at a calorie deficit, you’ll be able to lose weight.

But if you’re doing high intensity cardio (like HIIT) to lose body fat, eating/drinking something that raises insulin (like whey protein) will will stop HGH production. Hgh helps you burn body fat, build/perserve muscle, recover, improves skin elasticity, etc…

So you won’t be optimizing your results for the work you’ve done.


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