Are you a night owl? And working out late at night works for you? Then there is a high chance that you get confused about what to eat late in the night after a workout. Though post-workout nutrition is mandatory, not every food can be consumed at night due to digestion issues. So what can you eat after a late-night workout that will fill up your energy tank while not causing any digestive problems? Let’s find out:
Why Do You Need To Eat After A Workout?
Workout is meant to build lean muscle mass while burning excess fat. But to build those muscles, the existing muscles undergo some damage during a workout, which needs to be repaired. For this repair, your body needs energy and this energy can only be extracted from the selected food sources.
As you need energy before a workout, you need energy after a workout as well. All the lost energy during the workout needs to be regained so your body can perform at its best and prepare itself for the next day’s workout. That energy can be regained after consuming all the essential nutrients via post-workout meals. These nutrients are:
One of the major post-workout nutrients constitutes proteins. Protein is necessary to repair the microtears that happened during exercise in the muscles. It helps in healing and recovering post-workout.
The lost energy is mostly the glycogen that gets stored in our muscles, so it can be used during workouts. Carbohydrates are the major source of glucose, and as you know glucose is considered the energy’s primary source for our body. The excess glucose is then stored in our muscles as glycogen which acts as fuel for the next workout.
Fats are considered bad, but in fact, they are necessary for post-workout nutrition. Fats act as an alternate energy source for our body when our body runs out of glucose during high-intensity workouts. So, it’s necessary to keep their levels steady in your body.
What To Eat After A Late-Night Workout?
1: Protein Shakes or Bars
The quickest and most sustainable energy and protein sources are either protein shakes or protein bars. Within 30 minutes of the workout, your body will have its healthy dose of required protein and carbs.
2: Hummus with Raw Veggies/Pepper
Want something savory yet full of nutrition as a post-workout snack? Try having hummus. A perfect blend of roasted chickpeas and olive oil provides essential carbs and proteins. To top it off with more nutrition or taste, pepper and veggies can be added.
3: Salmon & Salad
Fish at night? Won’t that be too much for a late-night post-workout snack? Well, no! Rather than having less fulfilling snacks, it’s better to consume fatty fish which is a promising source of omega fatty acids and proteins.
4: Micellar Casein Protein
Another name for this protein is bedtime protein. Casein is a well-known pre-workout and post-workout supplement, which helps in the recovery and growth of the muscles. But what makes it the best choice for a late-night snack is its slow absorption properties, which help in providing a sustainable source of protein to the body.
5: Yogurt & Fruit
Yogurt not only tastes good but it also is a rich source of healthy bacteria that live in our gut and helps with quick digestion, making it a perfect bedtime snack. A unique blend of protein and calcium also makes it a great choice for a post-workout meal. To add some taste and nutrition, fruits and protein powders can be mixed in it.
6: Hard-Boiled Eggs
Easy to prepare and quick to gain energy- eggs are definitely one of the most loved late-night post-workout snacks. They offer both protein and fatty acids in healthy amounts, which is just enough to regain your energy and to also enhance the protein synthesis process.
7: Banana with Peanut Butter
The minerals like potassium and magnesium, that you lose by sweating during an exercise banana can help you refill. It is a rich source of such minerals and when combined with pure peanut butter, it also fills up the body with the necessary carbs.
8: Cottage Cheese with Vegetables
Cottage cheese works wonders as a late-night post-workout snack. It not only provides protein but also is a rich source of leucine, which is an essential amino acid to synthesize proteins after an exercise. To add some taste, some chopped carrots or cucumber can be consumed with cottage cheese.
9: Avocado and Scrambled Eggs
To get both protein and several important micronutrients simultaneously, you can have avocado with scrambled eggs. Eggs will substitute for your protein needs while avocado will make sure that you get your vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.
10: Quinoa Salad
Vegan people always look out for vegan food options that can fulfill their protein requirements. Quinoa salad is one of the best protein sources in the vegan domain. To make it a meal, add some veggies or beans and peas for taste.
The Final Word
Whether you work out in the morning or late at night, you need to take care of your post-workout nutrition. Whatever snack you choose from the above-mentioned food options, just make sure that it fulfills your energy requirements and is easy for you to sleep with.
I look up to fitness as a lifestyle and love to pen down about it. I have 2 years of experience in content writing and I am here to share my research and knowledge on health and fitness.