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How soon after a workout should I eat to maximize recovery?

JJ Virgin
Health Education
A lot of debate exists about this. Conventional thinking says within an hour after your workout, but I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules here. I would say evaluate how you feel, how hungry you are, that sort of thing, after you work out. A protein shake always makes a great post-workout option. I blend non-dairy, non-soy protein powder with unsweetened almond or coconut milk, frozen raspberries, avocado, raw kale, and freshly ground flaxseed to stay full, focused, and burning fat after a workout.
A light meal consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and fluids should be eaten within 30 minutes after exercise. A full, well-balanced meal should be eaten within 2 hours after exercise.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.