Best Proven Foods that Speed Up Recovery After Workout

Do you know how much pressure we put on our bodies during exercise to maintain our health? It is necessary and greatly advised but not letting our bodies recover after an exercise session can have hazardous effects. Post-workout recovery plays an essential role in keeping up with exercises for seniors. Foods and beverages are the best way to help the body of a senior recover after a workout session. Today’s article on Living Maples Mag will discuss “what should seniors eat after a workout session?”

Why is it necessary?

Consuming the proper nutrients after exercise is as important as what you eat before a workout session. However, not all foods and drinks are suitable for seniors to eat after exercise. Below, you can learn what to eat after your workouts to recover faster and better.

Workout reduces the amount of glycogen stored in your body due to their consumption as fuel. It leads to glycogen depletion in muscles. Exercising also damages some of the proteins in seniors’ muscles. The process of glycogen replenishment starts immediately after your workout finishes, and you need to receive foods that can help your body refuel itself.

Eating proper foods after a workout helps your body to:

  • Reduce the breakdown of muscle proteins
  • Increase the synthesis of muscle proteins
  • Replenish glycogen stores
  • Improve recovery

What Should Seniors Eat after a Workout Session?


As noted earlier, proteins are broken down as a result of exercise. The speed of protein breakdown depends on seniors’ training level and their experience in doing various exercises, and consuming protein after a workout provides the required amino acids to repair and rebuild new muscle tissue.

Researchers suggest that the elderly consume about 0.3-0.5 g of protein per kilogram of their body weight immediately after a workout. Studies also show that having 20-40 g of protein increases seniors’ body’s ability to recover faster after exercise.


The body’s glycogen stores are used as fuel while doing exercises, and post-workout carbohydrates consumption refills them. The activity rate is the factor that determines the speed of glycogen stores’ depletion.

Foods rich in carbohydrates as pre-workout nutrition

Studies have shown that consuming 1.1 – 1.5 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight 30 minutes after the workout session can lead to glycogen stores’ resynthesis. Furthermore, research indicates that consuming carbs and proteins simultaneously increases insulin secretion, essential for glycogen synthesis.
The carbs-protein ratio for seniors after a workout is 3:1 (For example, 40 grams of protein and 120 grams of carbs). Therefore, consuming many carbs to replenish glycogen stores is most important for seniors who often exercise, such as twice on the same day. If you have 1 or 2 days to rest between workouts, this becomes less important.


It is generally believed that if you eat fat after a workout, your digestion will be lower, inhibiting the absorption of nutrients. Although it is true, it does not mean that seniors should avoid eating fats. A recent study also indicated that post-workout fat consumption increases muscle growth.
However, it is necessary to limit fat consumption not to gain extra fat, but make sure to add some fat to your post-workout diet to enhance your recovery rate.

Timing of Eating Foods after a Workout Session

The body is more receptive to glycogen and protein immediately after exercise. Hence, it is good to start consuming a mixture of carbs and proteins when you finish your workout. Most experts also believe that the best time to eat a post-work meal for seniors is within 45 minutes of exercise.

A senior woman and a young woman are making food

Studies also suggest that consuming fats after two hours of exercise sessions reduces glycogen synthesis rate by 50%.

Foods you should eat after exercise

The primary purpose of eating a meal after exercise is to provide the necessary nutrients for the body to recover well and maximize the benefits of exercise. Hence, choosing digestible foods increases the rate at which nutrients are absorbed.

Foods High In Carbs Seniors Should Eat After A Workout

  • Sweet potato
  • Chocolate milk
  • Fruit (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
  • Rice cake
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potato
  • Pasta
  • Dark vegetables with green leaves

Foods High In Proteins Seniors Should Eat After A Workout

Animal or vegetable protein powder

  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon fish
  • Chicken
  • Protein sheets
  • Tuna fish

Foods High In Fats Seniors Should Eat After A Workout

a bowl of nuts as one of the best foods to eat after a workout
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut Butter
  • A mixture of dried fruits and nuts

The Importance of Drinking Water After a Workout

It is essential to drink plenty of water before and after exercise. When you drink enough water, your body is ready to get the most out of your activities. During training, your body loses electrolytes by losing water and salt. Hence, replacing these after exercise will help you recover and perform better.

It is also essential to replace lost body fluids if your next exercise is less than 12 hours away. Furthermore, depending on how intense your workout is, it is recommended that you make up for lost fluids by drinking water or other electrolyte drinks.

Final Words

Getting enough carbohydrates and protein after exercise is essential since it speeds up the production of protein in the muscles, improves recovery, and increases seniors’ performance in the next training.

If you cannot eat within 45 minutes after exercise, try not to delay eating for more than 2 hours. Therefore, replenishing the body’s lost water and electrolytes will complement your workout results and maximize the benefits of the exercise for you.

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1 year ago

Waiting for 45 minutes before eating sounds right. But what if someone’s trying to lose weight? I always wait 2 hours after my workouts. It’s not that hard, but sometimes I feel dizzy. Would I still lose weight if I start eating after one hour?

Reply to  Holly
1 year ago

Consuming protein and carbohydrates within 45 minutes of a workout session is actually recommended. For losing weight, it is important to eat within two hours after your workout session, and it is more important what to eat to help your body rebuild the glycogen stores and lose weight more effectively.

1 year ago

I always do my exercises in the morning and before breakfast. And then I take a shower, prepare my breakfast and enjoy my meal. I almost eat 2 boiled eggs with little peanut butter, then drink orange juice. I think these are the best menu for after a workout. Also, after 15 minutes, I used to drink tea, which makes my mood fresh. I recommend my recipe to my friends; I guarantee that you will enjoy it!

Reply to  Suliva
9 months ago

Perfect, thanks for sharing the daily sport plan that has worked for you with others. But as one of the articles on this website says, you’d better drink some nutritious drink almost one hour before starting your exercise. This reduces the chance of having blood pressure drop and energizes you to do better. Like your plan, consuming protein and carbohydrates is highly recommended for muscle building.

1 year ago

I’m 70, and I do exercise regularly for years. I have a balanced diet and don’t need to lose or gain weight. On the other hand, I never eat anything (except a water bottle) before and after work out for a couple of hours. I don’t even feel hungry after exercise. Is it normal? I’m worried about having no sense of hunger after physical activity

Reply to  Benjamin
9 months ago

Hi Benjamin. Don’t worry about not feeling hungry after a workout. When we exercise, the hormonal changes in our bodies cause the stored glycogen to be released, and the glucose starts being produced at accelerated rates. These effects can result in a decreased appetite, making it likely not to feel hungry for a while after your workout session. So, just keep doing your exercises and don’t stress about feeling hungry or full afterwards. However, it’s still a great idea to help your body unlock its full potential and get the best results by eating a healthy meal like the ones mentioned in the article.

10 months ago

Well, this is what I do: A bit of protein to heal my body inflammation. Meat, eggs or protein shake will be a wise decision.
Fast carbs are the second thing I recommend.
White rice will also serve you best. It’s proven that rice replenishes muscle glycogen very well. Exactly what you need!
Eat these foods 30–60 after your workout, and you will get great results.
Being educated on how to recover and eat properly after a hard workout is important if you want to live an awesome life rather than suffer throughout your days.

9 months ago

It’s been a month since I’m trying to lose weight. Whenever I come from the gym, I can not eat anything because I believe I’ll get fat. I know it’s not normal, but my mind does not let me eat anything, even fruits or the things mentioned in the article. Although I eat nothing after the workout, It seems like I am fatter now. It’s funny! Is there anybody to tell me what I can do to change this mindset?

9 months ago

It’s been a month since I’m trying to lose weight. Whenever I come from the gym, I can not eat anything because I believe I’ll get fat. I know it’s not normal, but my mind does not let me eat anything, even fruits or the things mentioned in the article. Although I eat nothing after the workout, It seems like I am fatter now. It’s funny! Is there anybody to tell me what I can do to change this mindset?

9 months ago

Helpful article. Beans are awesome! High protein, high fibre, and highly affordable. They heat up quickly, allowing you to warm them in bulk. Red beans and rice are quick and easy to prepare, but dry beans are some of the least expensive protein sources.

9 months ago

Nuts are incredibly energizing! My mother always told me to carry some nuts in my pocket. They are great for the brain and keep your mind and body moving.

Reply to  Owen
9 months ago

I agree with you, Owen. I am in my seventies, and I have exercised regularly for years. You should eat the right healthy foods after a workout. You must be responsible for providing healthy nutrients for your muscles and body so they can regain their power and strength and get you prepared for the following workout. So I carry some fresh fruits and healthy snacks in my pocket everywhere. It is also recommended to consume water to stay healthy.

6 months ago

The amount of foods and beverages that everyone should consume after the workout highly depends on their workout goals. There are differences in the kinds and amount of nutrients different persons need when trying to lose or gain weight or build more muscle. For example, my workout diet is based on gaining weight, so I must consume protein shakes as soon as the workout ends.
Suppose you’re a senior who has just decided to join the nearest gym. In that case, I recommend you to consult your dr before taking any classes and starting any diets, and then set up your workout goals.