Nutrient timing (what to eat and when to eat) is extremely important for refueling and repairing the body after a workout. Research suggests that the best time to ingest a post-exercise meal to achieve optimal recovery is within 30-45 minutes after exercise. After 2 hours there is significantly less beneficial effect.
Liquid nutrition in the form of protein drinks/shakes tend to be absorbed faster than whole foods or bars. Be sure that the meal has a combination of carbs and protein for faster recovery.
In a research study, 20g of protein had shown to produce optimal recovery in men with average weight of 190lbs (14g for women – average weight of 135lbs), however those with significantly more muscle mass or those looking to increase their muscle mass may need to increase their protein intake. The recommended ratio for calorie conscious exercisers is 2:1 carbs to protein, and up to 4:1 for advanced athletes.
A few samples of a good post-workout meal are chicken with brown rice, yogurt with almonds or a protein shake with a banana.
To ensure that you stick with your post-exercise meal plan it might be a good idea to prep your meals in advance and invest in Ziploc baggies, a few Tupperware containers and a shaker bottle.
Have a great day and be an Active Body!