How to Deal with Post-Workout Hunger

There’s a right and wrong way to eat after exercise; find out the balance to get the most out of your fitness routine.
136522652

136522652

Healthy lifestyle

Photo by: george tsartsianidis

george tsartsianidis

Does an exercise session leave you famished or does the thought of food post workout make you ill? There’s a right and wrong way to eat after exercise; find out the balance to get the most out of your fitness routine.

Feel the Burn

Some people question whether or not it’s worth it to exercise since burning lots of calories can make you hungrier. It IS worth it and there are tricks you can adopt to beat this vicious cycle. Choosing the right foods after a workout can make a huge difference.

Research says hunger pangs may hit women harder than men; hormones are to thank for that. For this reason gals need to pay extra attention to how they eat before and after exercise.

On the flip side, other studies have found that exercise lowers levels of a hunger-spiking hormone called ghrelin. The only caveat here is that the exercise needs to be intense, not a leisurely a stroll on the treadmill.

Frequency of exercise also plays an important role. Hitting the gym (or however you like to sweat) regularly trains your body to burn calories more efficiently and of course lowers your risk of an onslaught of ailments including diabetes and heart disease. The bottom line is exercise: is good; here’s how to fuel it properly.

Pre-Fuel

It may seem backwards that you need to eat in order to burn calories efficiently but that’s what your body needs. A small snack before a workout helps fuel your metabolism, the result is a better workout and greater energy expenditure.

Avoid Unnecessary Workout Calories

Unless you’re a competitive athlete, sipping on caloric sports beverages or slurping on energy gels is a no-no. Sucking down those extra calories will impede your weight-loss goals; stick to water for hydration.

Repair and Recover

Give tired muscles exactly what they need after a workout: healthy carbs and protein in the appropriate amounts. It can be a meal or snack depending on when you exercise. Research supports that a properly composed post workout snack should have 3 grams of carbs for every one gram of protein. Eating protein at this time will also help curb a beastly appetite since protein takes longer to digest.

Tell Us: Do you eat right after exercise?
Keep Reading

Next Up

Safely Dealing With Leftovers

Here are some tips for properly cooling and defrosting leftovers -- especially important after those big holiday feasts.

What's the Deal with Hemp?

Hemp products are becoming increasingly popular, but what exactly is hemp? To answer a few burning questions…yes, hemp is a species of Cannabis sativa, but no, it’s not the same as marijuana.

The Real Deal on Guarana

This new caffeine alternative is all the rage in energy drinks. A few weeks ago a client told me she was drinking guarana soda instead of coffee because she was pregnant. The young woman was floored to find that it contains much more caffeine than coffee. This inspired me to write this post---guarana is not always safe. Read up on the facts and find out if it’s right for you.

Easy Meals, Good Deals, Made Healthy

. Get back to budget-friendly eating with Foodnetwork.com's Easy Meals, Good Deals feature.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.