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:
- What to eat after cardio for faster recovery
- 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.