What you eat after your workout matters because during a strenuous physical activity you deplete your glycogen, which damages your muscle proteins. When your workout is over, you might be resting, but your body is hard at work restoring glycogen and repairing muscle fibers.
Besides micronutrients such as important vitamins and minerals, the building blocks of your diet are the macronutrients: proteins, carbs, and fat.
Eating protein after a workout helps you repair and rebuild the muscle fibers faster. The correct amount of protein for a 160-pound person is around 35g (0.2g/1 pound of bodyweight). Chicken, salmon, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder are some of the best protein-loaded foods.
Carbs help you replenish glycogen stores. If you exercise a lot (i.e. long-distance running), it’s crucial to eat enough carbs. For a 160-pound person, the right amount is 80g (0.5g/1-pound of bodyweight). You will find healthy carbs in foods like brown rice, potatoes, pasta, oatmeal, and quinoa.
And finally fat – don’t demonize nor glorify it, but take them in moderate amounts. They don’t recover your glycogen nor your muscles, but they are essential for good health and you should eat healthy fats like nuts, nut butters, or avocado.