1. It helps with muscle recovery.
When you work out, you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. In order for your muscles to repair and grow, they need protein. So eating a protein-rich meal after your workout helps your muscles recover and rebuild.
2. It boosts your immune system.
Your immune system takes a bit of a hit when you work out since exercise can increase inflammation throughout the body. Eating a post-workout meal helps replenish the nutrients your body needs to keep your immune system strong.
3. It aids in weight loss (or weight maintenance).
If you're trying to lose weight, you must ensure you're eating enough calories throughout the day to support your workout routine. Eating after your workout ensures that your body has the energy it needs to keep burning fat and build muscle. Suppose you're trying to maintain your weight; eating after your workout prevents your body from going into "starvation mode" and holding onto fat stores.
4. It improves cognitive function.
Exercise has been shown to improve brain function, but did you know that what you eat after your workout can also have an impact? Research has shown that eating a healthy meal after exercise can help improve memory recall and task performance.
5. It gives you more energy for future workouts.
Your body needs energy (in the form of calories) to perform at its best during workouts. If you don't replenish those calories after exercising, you'll likely feel tired and sluggish during future workouts - not exactly motivation to keep going to the gym! Eating a healthy meal or snack after exercising can help give you the energy boost you need to stay on track with your fitness goals.
There are plenty of good reasons to make sure you eat something after working out! Not only does it help with muscle recovery and boosting your immune system, but it can also aid in weight loss (or weight maintenance), improve cognitive function, and give you more energy for future workouts. So next time you finish up at the gym, be sure to refuel with one of the healthy post-workout meals in our recipe blog.