What to Eat After a Late Night Workout Before Bed? – Maximizing Gains with Midnight Munchies!

by Stephanie Yankova

It can be difficult to find time to work out when you have a full-time job, so evening sessions at the gym are not uncommon. However, there is one downside to it, and it’s the post-workout meal. We all know that the best time to have dinner is between 5 pm and 7 pm, but if you have your workout past this time, your body will need food to refuel its energy, which creates a bit of a conundrum. So, the big question is – what to eat after a late night workout before bed? Here’s what our experts have to say! 

what to eat after a late night workout before bed

Should I Eat After a Workout Late at Night?

The short answer is YES. However, you need to take into account the amount of calories you’ve burnt during the workout and the type of food you choose to consume. The aim is to not eat so much that you trigger acid reflux symptoms, and just enough to regain the energy you’ve lost. The easiest and quickest way to do that is with a protein snack, which is the most common choice as it helps rebuild your muscles. However, if you’re someone who enjoys food and wants to have a proper meal, there are great options for you, too, which we’re going to dive into in a second!

What to Eat After a Late Night Workout Before Bed?

proteins and carbs to eat before bed after a workout

We’ve all been taught that it’s not healthy to eat really late at night or right before we go to bed, however, this isn’t exactly the case if you’ve included a workout in your evening activities. Skipping the post-workout meal can lead to low blood sugar and dizziness, which I’m sure none of us want to experience. It’s best to eat 30 minutes, or no longer than an hour after you’ve finished working out. This is the time frame when your body is craving high-quality nutrients which help restore your energy and muscle fibers. The two main food groups that you should focus on are carbs and proteins.

Some of the best carbs to consume after a workout are:

  • rolled oats
  • sweet potatoes
  • fruit (avocado, banana, forest fruits)
  • quinoa
  • beans

They contain complex carbohydrates, which supply your organism with the necessary amounts of glycogen for muscle recovery.

For proteins, you can have:

  • eggs
  • protein powder
  • Greek yogurt
  • salmon
  • anchovies
  • herring
  • mackerel
  • sardines
  • tuna
  • shrimp
  • poached chicken breast
  • beef

These foods are also going to help aid the process of muscle recovery and regeneration.

Read also: Protein rich foods – improve your daily menu with high-protein diet

To improve your digestion and regulate your blood pressure post-workout, it’s good to include probiotics and fermented foods in your meals, such as:

  • kimchi
  • sauerkraut
  • kefir
  • kombucha

Remember that your meals should contain foods following your fitness goals and workout type.

If you’ve done a cardio session, aim for a balanced protein/carb intake. These types of workouts are usually quite intense, so you should use the food as a source of calmness for both your mind and body. Oats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish will be ideal for you.

After strength training, your body requires more protein and very little carbs. Reach for whole greens, chicken breasts or beef, eggs, and Greek yogurt.

A post-HIIT workout meal should be aimed at reducing inflammation with a balanced protein/carb intake. Vegetables rich in Omega-3, forest fruits, nuts, fish, and green yogurt are an excellent choice for an evening meal.

For the yoga lovers, we suggest a green smoothie, chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, or a fruit salad.

A little tip for those who want to recover quickly after a straining workout session – take electrolytes! Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride are essential for restoring the balance of fluids in your body. They also help relax your muscles, prevent cramps and spasms, and prevent fatigue.

Read also: Natural energy drinks: 5 easy and delicious homemade recipes to boost energy and immune system!


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