It is no secret that diet enhances the benefits of working out. However, does sex play a role in the association between diet and exercise? Well, research says yes. For example, a study published on PubMed underlined that a low-ED (the amount of energy per gram) diet for athletes and exercise-trained women might regulate their hunger and maintain low body weight. However, high levels of exercise with a low-ED diet may suppress post-exercise appetite, thus increasing the possibility of sub-optimal energy intakes in lean women. When energy intake and expenditure mismatch, women are susceptible to several health issues, including stress fractures, osteoporosis, amenorrhea (absence of periods), eating-related disorders, and suppressed immune response.

Why Is Post-Workout Nutrition Important?

Post-workout nutrition for women is essential to maximize athletic performance. Without enough carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, athletes may feel hungry, lazy, and tired during a workout. They may also require specific minerals and vitamins, such as iron, vitamin D, and zinc, for fitness and performance.

It is helpful to remember that each individual’s nutritional requirements differ. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a health coach or a sports dietitian to get a well-thought diet plan according to your body and activity level.

Evidence suggests that instead of focusing on a healthy diet or physical activity, integrating both produces better results. In addition, exercise influences the choice of daily meals, including after-workout meals, for many individuals.

What Are the Benefits Of Taking Nutritional Foods Post Work-Out?

A one-line answer is that it refuels and rehydrates your body. Taking an optimal diet after a workout reduces inflammation, helps with muscle recovery, and prepares you well for the next session. Remember that exercise may cause micro-tears in your muscles. A protein-rich diet supports the repair of these muscles. Besides, a good post-exercise or post-performance diet helps restore glycogen levels and replenish the body’s energy source. Finally, drinking water is an unmissable part of post-workout needs because it helps the body cope with electrolyte loss caused by sweating.

What Happens If You Miss After-Workout Meal?

Missing meals post-workout, a sports performance, or any other form of moderate-to-heavy exercise can weaken your muscles in the long term. Similarly, staying dehydrated for long can make you feel tired and pale. Besides, the drop in glucose levels after exercise is likely to affect your mood and alertness. Therefore, a well-balanced meal is important after engaging in physical activity.

What To Eat After Workout?

Here are the best post-workout meals for women to consider.

Carbs

  • Quinoa and other whole grains

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Fruits (banana, apple, berries, kiwi)

  • Hot chocolate milk (vegans may replace animal milk with soy or almond milk)

  • Oats

  • Brown rice

  • Whole wheat or semolina pasta

  • Grilled potatoes

Fats

  • Seeds and nuts

  • Nut butters

  • Foods with healthy fats roasted in pure clarified butter

  • Avocados

  • Cottage cheese

Protein

  • Eggs

  • Whey protein or plant protein

  • Cottage cheese

  • Chicken breast

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Protein bar

  • Yogurt

Vitamins

  • Fatty fish, egg yolk, mushrooms, spinach, kale, and sunshine for Vitamin D

  • Organ meats, non-GMO soy, and blue-green algae for Vitamin B12

  • Oranges, gooseberries, bell peppers, pineapples, strawberries, and kiwis for Vitamin C

  • Foods rich in magnesium, CO-Q10, zinc, and selenium also help repair your body after a workout

Exercising without taking proper nutrition may gradually distress and weakens your body.

Therefore, be food-smart and stick to a healthy diet regimen pre-and post-workout.