How to Deal with Post-Workout Hunger

by in Fitness, August 12, 2012

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.

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.

See our suggestions for fit and easy preworkout snacks.

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.

Is there a good time to drink a sports drink?

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.

Hit up our list of favorite recovery foods.

Tell Us: Do you eat right after exercise?


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Comments (255)

  1. Michael says:

    The worst exercise for inducing post-workout hunger pangs is swimming. I think that's the reason why so few people lose weight from it. Personally, I have to eat quite heavily after exercise – swimming or otherwise – or else I'll feel hungry for the rest of the day.

  2. Carmen says:

    I don't eat anything before my morning work-out at the gym but I do drink plenty of water and sometimes a cup of tea. I eat a regular breakfast afterwards like, oatmeal, eggs, or tofu with a glass of rice milk. I don't need to eat a heavy meal just good healthy food.

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