Is Publish-Workout Diet Really Necessary


Post-workout nutrition

Video taken from the channel: MassGeneralHospital


Is it REALLY necessary to eat after exercise?

Video taken from the channel: Get Lean After 40


Post Workout Nutrition & what you need to know

Video taken from the channel: mountaindog1


Why Post Workout Carbs Are Not Necessary

Video taken from the channel: Sean Nalewanyj


The Post-Workout Anabolic Window (MYTH BUSTED with Science)

Video taken from the channel: Jeff Nippard

If you don’t workout long or very intense, post-workout nutrition isn’t as important as you may think. There are, on the other hand, times that you do need to replenish with post-workout nutrition. Long, intense sessions break muscles down and need to be followed up with a decent dose of protein.

As I mentioned earlier, all trainees (male or female), regardless of their chosen mode of exercise, must take their post-exercise nutrition seriously in order to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs. As all types of exercise use carbohydrates for energy, muscle carbohydrate depletion is inevitable. One question we get asked a lot is whether carbs are absolutely necessary post workout, especially if fat loss is the major goal. The short answer is: no. In fact, in some of my programs you may be cutting out all carbs if you’re in the extreme phase of a diet.

The primary purpose of post-exercise nutrition is to replenish glycogen stores. Glycogen is one of the primary fuels for muscular contraction. Just 3 sets of 12 reps can almost cut your glycogen stores in half. Most strength workouts encompass far more volume, and can deplete glycogen even more severely.

In terms of timing, you should be careful not to focus too many of your post-workout nutrition choices on protein. Immediately post-workout you want to focus on replenishing carbohydrate, and adding some protein to your food/drink choices may help accelerate the uptake of carbohydrate. So, when should you consume the most protein?

Actually, never. In most cases, this would unpleasant, difficult and not a standard workout protocol. So here’s the deal: if you’ve actually had a pre-workout meal or any other recent meal, there’s no crucial, do-or-die need to eat after your workout – especially if you’re still “burping up” that bar you ate before your exercise session. Well, not really. A typical post workout shake will generally contain a mixture of whey protein and simple carbohydrates mixed in water, which is then consumed within about 30 minutes after the workout is complete.

As we’ve mentioned, post-workout nutrition requires two things: Protein to aid in protein synthesis Carbohydrates to help replace muscle glycogen (and to enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients into cells) You could certainly eat a whole food meal that meets these requirements after exercise. Since a post-workout protein shake doesn’t really seem to boost muscle growth or strength gains, you might be asking whether you will benefit from including protein shakes in your diet at all. While the answer to this question primarily depends on your ability to get enough protein from “real food”, there are also other considerations you.

It’s possible that for athletes doing more than one workout in a day the extra speed of absorption featured by taking in a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein post-workout is a good idea. For everyone else, focusing on protein and total calories is just as good for your muscles, and probably better for your health. References.


List of related literature:

Once you have your preand post-workout nutrition in place, you have free rein to “spend” your macronutrients however you please.

“Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body” by Michael Matthews
from Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body
by Michael Matthews
Oculus Publishers, 2019

Protein intake is important, but it is more important to ensure that the total energy needs of the body are met regardless of the contributing macronutrients.

“Practical Applications In Sports Nutrition BOOK ALONE” by Heather Fink, Alan Mikesky, Lisa Burgoon
from Practical Applications In Sports Nutrition BOOK ALONE
by Heather Fink, Alan Mikesky, Lisa Burgoon
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011

A balanced intake of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water is all that is necessary.

“Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine” by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
from Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine
by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
SAGE Publications, 2010

Finally, if you want to geek out on the nitty-gritty science of postworkout nutrition, check out the Rock Star Triathlete Academy article “Putting the Preand Post-Workout Nutrition Debate into the Grave” (

“Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life” by Ben Greenfield
from Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life
by Ben Greenfield
Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

Not only is it important to include the essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) in your nutritional plan, it is also helpful if each meal consists of one portion of carbohydrate and one portion of protein.

“The Life Plan: How Any Man Can Achieve Lasting Health, Great Sex, and a Stronger, Leaner Body” by Jeffry S. Life
from The Life Plan: How Any Man Can Achieve Lasting Health, Great Sex, and a Stronger, Leaner Body
by Jeffry S. Life
Atria Books, 2011

These nutrients are important for everyone, but for an endurance athlete they are crucial.

“Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.” by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
from Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.
by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
VeloPress, 2012

Recent research suggests integrating protein preexercise carries the same importance as post-workout consumption for gains in lean body mass.

“Sports Medicine: Study Guide and Review for Boards” by Jonathan T. Finnoff, DO, Mark A. Harrast, MD
from Sports Medicine: Study Guide and Review for Boards
by Jonathan T. Finnoff, DO, Mark A. Harrast, MD
Springer Publishing Company, 2011

Therefore, not only ingesting a proper amount of protein, but also consuming sufficient energy, is important for building muscle.

“Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance: Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength” by Debasis Bagchi, Sreejayan Nair, Chandan K. Sen
from Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance: Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength
by Debasis Bagchi, Sreejayan Nair, Chandan K. Sen
Elsevier Science, 2013

It is not simply a matter of reducing energy intake, but of ensuring at the same time that intakes of protein, vitamins, and minerals are adequate.

“Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism, Fourth Edition” by David A. Bender
from Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism, Fourth Edition
by David A. Bender
CRC Press, 2007

Only when there is a need is the protein used to increase muscle mass.

“Concepts in Biology' 2007 Ed.2007 Edition” by Enger, Eldon Et Al
from Concepts in Biology’ 2007 Ed.2007 Edition
by Enger, Eldon Et Al
Rex Bookstore, Inc.,

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

View all posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • So I only had a bowl of oats today (granted: they are excellent, with maca powder, raw milk, maca powder, ginger, and some Stevia for sweetness) and a plate of salmon the night before (had sweet potato and other great veggies like brussel sprouts; granted, with an extra 500 calories or so of beef Wellington (with most of the pastry discarded) my work has). I am 290 pounds and 6’4″ so to say I have stores of macros (fat and muscle makes my BMI around 30, though my fat content is more or less a non-issue; not perfect, but maybe even characteristic of my “strongman” spirit I am going for. I imagine right now after five miles of walking to and from the gym and doing Athlean X’s PERFECT leg workout video (that’s the title), I am not losing significant muscle that I can’t just “eat back” later (a minimum of a few hours, but maybe even longer “fasting” would be beneficial to my fat loss and not harmful to my muscularity at all.

    My question is, am I right to presume not worrying about losi g muscle? I have been trying many methods for years and want to talk more in depth with someone interested in this, to pinpoint this with science.

    Further data (and I know this is a sciency post but just in case u need it):
    I haven’t worked out much in the past week but my job has me on my feet, walking, for hours and even lifting racks and pushing carts. I eat very well, with lots of additional micronutrients and a rather spirited abstinence from anything fried or containing crap like HFCS. The diet is expanding, with me adding such things as fermented foods like Kombucha tea. Protein intake is a definite non-issue, I love fish, meat, poultry, beans, and even the ole whey protein supplement for good measure. Maybe the most “lunky” supplement I take (you know, something more like “Bro’s Miracle Protein” than a straight forward food supplement like fish oil) is creatine, which I think makes COMPLETING a workout without burning out early possible. (May use more of the BCAAs or Glutamine I have bought and let get dusty because of disuse, with the latter being claimed to mostly help elderly people and I am only 23. My macros are fine, and I am known to be able to eat more than 2000 calories, even in a single sitting, casually.

    I also will be looking into Elliott Hulse’s takes on fasting, though I sort of wonder if this new choice of his has been beneficial for him at 40 than it would be for me in my 20’s. my theory is that our metabolism is more dynamic than a conditional “you burn 3000 calories to hunt the wooly mammoth and are given 5000 calories of mammoth in return.”

    If you read this or just parts of it, feel free to message me about any part that you too find interesting. Not asking for paid counseling or to isolate just one thing in my routine right now to avoid confusion. Especially let me know if you think I should be worried about eating by 1pm after being out of the gym and walking since 12pm and only eating salmon at 10pm yesterday and oats at 7am (beginning my walk around 7:30).

  • If you haven’t made a comment on this before. But can you make a video on how long you have to burn certain calories before it stores as fat please ����

  • Your videos are absolutely perfect and thank’s a lot for them…
    Alas for me, being french and even if I though that my english was good enough to understand everything fast enough, I realized that you just speak a “little” to fast and very often during your explanation my brain has no time to transcribe immediately what you’re talking about… in fact, you are moving me…For sure that’s not your fault but it is very hard for me to take some english courses at the same time as “bodybuilding courses”… For sure, I’m kidding but if you could slow down your speed of langage just about 10 % you’ll really help me more than a lot!. LOL!!!

  • I eat all day at work and the only time I can train is in the evenings around 6:00 P.M. Should I eat dinner before or after I workout and is it O.K. to eat all day and workout hard in the evening? I am a beginner by the way. What should I be eating during the day?

  • an insulin spike might be beneficial during the maximum of the mps curve. i read that insulin lets nutrients pass the membrane of fat cells and muscle cells easier. hence supporting the mps.

  • Jeff…sorry im.calling B.S.. on what you say here.

    Ive been at this 35 yrs.

    It matters….it all matters and everything is important and OBVIOUSLY…after any intense weight training after blood flow has gone back to the gut and your pump started subsiding.


    Small guy 600kcal

    Bigger guy 8001000kcal

    Biggest natural.guys 245lbs × 1200kcal

    Thats off season.

    I put my 35 yrs experience against this science anytime lol

  • Having fast carbs directly after workout can lower cortisol levels, according to loeffelholz, that’s why i have my immediate postworkoutshake.
    Anyway what do you think of the book as a ressource. Jeff really should do some book reviews… if he hasn’t done this already and i just didn’t find the videos.

  • Pre workout:
    French toast: 4 whole grain breads, 2 eggs, 3 egg whites, 1cup yogurt, 100g cottage cheese. 1-1/2 hrs before
    Intra workout: 5gr BCAA’s+5grs Creatine (leg day)
    5gr BCAA’s+5gr glutamine (upper body day)
    Post workout: 1-1/2hr after
    3corn tortillas, 200grs potatoes,200gr chicken breast, 150grs nopals,1big red apple.
    May I ask a question?… Do you think that the post workout meal should be something like the famous proats with banana?! I mean for better gainz?! In terms of glycemic index in carbs and in the protein sources?! Thanks, I would really appreciate the advice!!!:)

  • Another great vid John. I wanted to ask if a person’s goal is maximum fat loss, is consuming dextrose and intraworkout carbs overkill or does consuming intraworkout carbs negate the need for post workout carbs? Thx again for all your great info!

  • I have a smoothie right after my workout I feel like anything in liquid form right after a workout goes straight to your muscles, easy digestion.

  • I’ll do 1 of 3 things depending on my current goals
    1) have a chicken and rice meal (1-2 cups w.rice depending on my goals, 8 oz cooked chicken)
    2) 2 scoops of whey in water followed by a chicken meal 45 min 1 hour later
    3) 2 scoops of whey in water blended with a banana followed by a chicken meal 45 min 1 hour later

  • I tried to workout and fast for 5 days with just water and electrolytes! I did a moderate intensity workout on my Day 1 fast and for the next 4 days the DOMS was off the charts! Man was I sore! I tested it and fasting and weight training was impossible to recover from! It took me about 5-6 days of fasting for the DOMS to calm down and I broke my fast after 10 days. Only 1 workout on Day 1 of my fast. It sucked! I am a big believer in EAA’s as close to post workout as possible. I am going to start testing this soon. EAA’s at the gym right after the workout and protein shake at home. ��

  • Normally train in a carb depleted state but not necessarily fasted
    Aminos & Creatine Intra Workout
    Chicken and Jasmine Rice is my go to after

  • When I wake up I immediately eat and train 45 mins/1 hour later

    Pre workout
    40 grams of oats
    140 grams of blueberries
    50 grams of whey protien
    5 gram coconut oil

    Intra workout
    1 G2 gatorade

    Post workout
    50 grams of whey
    250 grams of bananas

    1 hour after workout
    1 packet of tuna/15-20 grams of protien

  • “To feed as soon as possible after workout. In this respect, not eating does not offer any benefits.” I beg to differ. I’m on a 18/6 fast, my eating window is between 15:00 and 21:00, I workout around 13:00. After the workout there are many things going on in the body, especially when intermittent fasting. HGH increase massively for example, cellular activity also increases, so I like to “ride the wave”, get all the benefits, and wait at least an hour before I eat anything. Also, when I eat and kick start my metabolism, more blood accumulates around the organs and abdomen, meaning less blood in the muscles, and you want good blood flow in your muscles after a workout for a number of reasons. I could go into much more detail but my comment would be very long. Based on my research I think it’s optimal for me personally to refrain from eating right after a workout.

  • Thanks John for the awesome and real info on working out and info in general. I will be watching all your vids because i believe you are the true guru of it all. Thanks again and awesome to see your channel growing definitely underrated.

  • If you come home not ready to eat immediately after your workout, you didn’t work out hard enough to gain muscle. If you workout fasting without passing out you also haven’t worked out hard enough to gain muscle.

  • Pre work out meal / post work out meal? Seriously? Just eat the highest quality foods you can afford, and that help your body build. Eat when you are hungry and know that fasting facilitates muscle development too.

  • Dear John i used to use you old intra workout formula and it was making my stomach upset, i tried adding more water, sipping on it, nothing worked, i want to give your new intra workout a try was just wondering whether you’ve had any complains with the new formula?

  • John whats your opinion on consuming simple carbs first thing in the morning? I’m bulking so I’m thinking about drinking a shake with dextrose and whey iso and after 30-45min eat a whole food meal.

  • Video: “myth isn’t tOtally busted, there is still a lot of literature out there but the overall idea…”

  • Adressing the carbohydrate part: what about workouts with much higher volume like track sprinting or cycling?
    Ive found that i ate 800 grams of carbohydrates on cycling days in order to recover properly, but after adjusting my timing (eating a bunch of bananas during and post workout) 650-700 grams were sufficient.
    Ive no way to track the intensity and volume to 100% accuracy so is this just a matter of less effort and placebo?

  • Hey Jeff Does the effective change when you are a more of a strength endurance athlete? For example after 1-2 hours of high intensity swimming or rowing.

  • I think eating immediately post workout is a myth, propagated by the supplement industry. Been working out for 20 years and tried it all. I’ve experienced NO DIFFERENCE when waiting a few hours after my workout to eating immediately after the workout. I work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and sometimes wont eat until 10 or 11. I’ve also NEVER noticed a difference in soreness due to eating at different times. I’ve also never noticed any difference between eating solid food or protein shakes post workout either, but have been recently focusing more on lean foods after instead of shakes. One thing I’ve learned, is that you just eat when you’re fucking hungry and listen to your body. Its not rocket science. When your body needs and wants food, you’ll know. Too many people worried about dextrose and BCAA’s and this and that its all garbage. Unless you get paid to lift, keep it simple. All the guys at my gym walking around with retarded ass gallon water jugs and intra this and BCAA’s that all look like shit anyway. Everyone with a solid physique just makes a trip to the water fountain here and there.

  • Thank you for the advice, John!

    I have always taken Whey Isolate on post workout, plus a banana or some other high-glycemic carbs.
    Do you think that Whey Isolate is essencial on the post, or there is no benefits comparing to hydrolised or concentrate?

    Keep up the good videos!

  • Week 5 of creeping death. Stopped using whey powders and went back to eating “real” food
    Within 25 minutes after workout 2 cups of egg whites, 2 whole eggs, 1-1/2 cups rice flavoured with mustard and BCAA drink.

  • So does this anabolic window work if you fast for 20 hours a day? Like, I train at about 4PM and break my fast at 7PM and finish at about 11PM.

  • Great video…it’s about time someone set the record straight…why in the world would you want to spike your insulin after a workout. The whole idea behind working out is to deplete your glycogen reserve and stimulate growth hormone which is the main fat burning hormone activated through exercise therefore tapping into your own fat as fuel.
    First of all: Insulin nullifies growth hormone.
    Secondly: Post workout protein won’t be absorbed for 10 to 12 hrs after you drink it anyway…success in the recovery process is determined by what you ate yesterday.

  • There is zero conclusive evidence that shows ingesting carbs and protein immediately after a workout raises muscle protein synthesis.

    While some studies found a slight benefit, others found a bigger benefit from consuming a pre-workout meal.

  • Jeff, what is your opinion on kcal intake. Me, being through all kinds of diets in my life, knowing something about life, and live to tell (having had anorexia nervosa) i found my way with which i am comfortable with. That is, that i have the majority of my kcal at night. From 3000kcal a day, i have around 2000kcal at night and before bed time. Apart from not gaining (ups…still battling that carbofobia) i am shradded and i do make some progress at the gym.
    So, what is your opinion? I was looking if i could find any video about that on your page, but i could not. Did you talked about that?

  • But eating post workout spikes insulin,you are better of in a callorie surplus and fasting just before and long after workout. No point in spiking insulin after workout, then you heal quicker but get less gains overall.

  • Well, I do promote the EliteImpact Labs supplement line in about 50% of the videos, but I always make sure that the amount of free value I provide is proportionate to any amount of promotion I do.

  • If I do intermittent fasting on an off day (low carb) and break my fast with a fruit and then with a shake, is that optimal for fast protein absorption after a fast?

  • Pairing high glycemic carbs with protein post workout isn’t for replenishing muscle glycogen. Instead its to spike insulin so that insulin can open up the cells to bring in the protein faster. Feel free to address this in a video. I’d really be interested to see what research has to say about that.

  • As always, precise and to the point….. nice video. I love your videos. I follow other fitness videos too, and most of them are busy advertising their fitness program and/or their personal achievements, which gets annoying if they do it in every single video.

    Your videos are short and to the point. Subscribed

  • Is he telling me that body own insulin production will give same results as when i inject 20iu humalog post workout? Lmao. What a charade.

  • This seems like it was more of a redefining of the anabolic window than a busted “myth”. Great content and discussion overall though!

  • Post work out
    -Whey isolate shake w/ or w/o fruit depending on how i feel
    1hr or more later
    5 oz chicken
    -40 grams carbs from oats, cream of rice, or potato

  • Good info. But there CAN be a need to replenish gly levels PWO if you didn’t suffiently top them up Pre exercise because protein synthesis is energy demanding so you will still carbs to help provid energy for the process of protein synthesis but like I said you can carbo load Pre exercise to accomplish this.

  • How does this sound john
    4am eat 50g carbs from cereal and 1 scoop whey
    5:15am start training and consume 1 scoop whey 25g carbs from waxy maize
    6:45am 1 scoop whey with 25g carbs from oat powder
    Is this enough to stop protein breakdown and recover if i can’t eat again until 3 pm due to my job? Thank you so much!

  • i was doing the no carb thing and hit a plateau. i started eating carbs after workout and went through the plateau, showed more gains, vascularity and look better

  • I fast when I workout so I sip on bcaa BUT will switch to EAA from now on,lol. But after my intense workout I have my Allmax Isoflex with leucine. Then I go home nd eat 1 whole egg, 1cup of egg whites with half cup of green peppers, onions, cilantro with organic minced garlic all cooked in avocado oil. And two slices of whole grain bread,no butter. Is this good or to much?

  • Thanks for the info I’ve been trying to cut lately and I usually like to workout in the evening so I really prefer not to take on those simple carbs so late in the day I feel like it goes straight to my stomach

  • 50 grams of Isopure protien mixed in with 10oz water 10oz low fat milk, 1 banana, scoop of peanut butter, table spoon of honey, and a tea spoon of creatine,,,all mixed in a blender into a good ol shake,,,

  • Is it the same for the training that an endurance athlete goes through? We’ve been told that there’s a window of recovery for us as well and I’m curious if that’s the same as the anabolic window with weight training or strength training.

  • If this 45 minute post work out window is valid, then how did humans survive? how would construction workers build muscle when their largest meal is after work. This 45 minute after work out theory is just marketing of post work out prodcts.

  • Thanks so much. I did a pretty good workout yesterday and then realize that I didn’t have any protein-containing food available (I’m a teen so I’m not allowed to get protein powder). I panicked but you saved me