Eating after sports?


Whether you want to lose weight or build muscle, you shouldn't skip meals after exercise. Which foods are suitable - and what you should avoid.

Do you want to lose weight and therefore prefer not to eat anything after sports? Do you eat a large portion of poultry after sports because you want to build muscles? There are some myths about the right nutrition after sports. What you should eat really depends on which training goal you're pursuing - losing weight or building muscle? But one thing is true for both goals: You should definitely eat something after your workout - find out why here. 

Will I ruin my training success if I eat afterward?

Quite the opposite! Your body loses a lot of energy through the efforts of the sport and wants to replenish the glycogen store. Most experts advise eating after exercise within a window of about 30 minutes.

What is glycogen?

Glycogen is a store of glucose in the body. Glycogen can be stored in various tissues, such as the liver or muscles. When glycogen reserves are depleted, the body draws on fat reserves. 

Eating right after training

An optimal post-workout meal looks different for an endurance athlete than it does for a strength athlete. 

After endurance sports

Endurance sports deplete glycogen stores, so endurance athletes need more carbohydrates (but should not neglect protein). If you don't eat anything, glucose is missing as an energy source, and your body resorts not only to fats but also to proteins from muscles! And muscle loss is certainly not the desired result for endurance athletes either. So instead of not eating after a workout, be sure to replenish your energy stores. As a guide, a woman should consume 0.5 grams and a man 0.7 grams of their own body weight in carbohydrates.

Suitable foods after endurance sports:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta
  • Lentils
  • Porridge
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Quinoa
  • Fruit (e.g. bananas)

 You can find more information here: Nutrition and sport - how do I do it right?

If you want to lose weight, it's critical that you expend more calories than you consume. For men aged 25-50 and with little physical activity, such as exclusively sedentary jobs, the German Nutrition Society (DGE) advises a daily caloric intake of 2300 kcal for men and 1800 kcal for women. With a largely walking or standing occupational activity, the values rise to 2400 kcal for women and 3000 kcal for males.

After weight training

Amino acids are essential for our survival. They are the basic building blocks of proteins and help to construct biological tissue, among other things. The body creates endogenous protein from the protein we consume in order to build new muscle fibers. Because strength athletes' glycogen stores are not depleted as quickly as endurance athletes, they require more protein than carbs after strength training. Furthermore, protein aids muscle repair! Small tears in the muscles are caused by the training, which the body must now mend after the sport.

Suitable food after weight training:

  • Turkey or chicken breast
  • Beef
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Low-fat curd cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

This is what you should avoid: the no-go's

Leave the water bottle at home, but a little chocolate after sports? Think again ...

Drink too little

Your body loses a lot of fluid through sweating during exercise. So you don't get dehydrated, you should drink water during and after your workout to replenish your mineral balance. So: Don't forget to drink 

Eating light products

Light items deceive us into thinking we're eating something nutritious and low in calories. Although "light" products must meet the regulatory requirement that they include 30% less sugar or fat than comparable items, this does not always imply that they are lower in calories or have fewer additives. If fat isn't present as a flavor carrier, for example, more sugar is frequently added to these items! Sugar substitutes like aspartame trick the body into thinking it's getting a carbohydrate supply, but it doesn't. As a result, we acquire voracious hunger and eat more.

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