< Back to AK-Life

Post-Workout Nutrition


In our last email we spoke about pre-workout nutrition, so today is all about post-workout nutrition.
Just as fueling before a workout is essential to get the most out of your session, fueling after a workout is important as well!

What is the main difference?

Before a workout, we really want to ensure our glycogen levels are full so we can push hard for the workout. Yes, we want amino acids circulating as well to promote an anabolic state. However, after a workout, the order of priority is a bit reversed. We want to ensure that we are consuming protein post-workout so that our body has enough amino acids circulating to promote muscle protein synthesis. We also do want to replenish our glycogen stores.

How to time your post workout meal?

With regards to when you should consume your protein and carbs post workout, this will depend on when you had your pre-workout meal. If you had your pre-workout meal 1 hour before your session, you have some time before needing to replenish. The guideline is to consume your post-workout meal 4-5 hours after your pre-workout meal.

How much carbs and protein should you consume?

Regarding protein, you want to aim for around 0.4-0.5 grams per KG of body weight. In terms of carbs, this will depend on if the session was a strength session or an endurance session, and if you are bulking or cutting etc. I would recommend to not drop below a 1:1 ratio post-workout. If you are in a cut then cut your carbs later on in the day if you can.

What type of protein and carbs should you consume?

This is very similar to the pre workout suggestions. After a workout we want to replenish our glycogen and get some amino acids circulating, therefore, we want to limit the fats and fiber we consume. Having a shake with protein and fruit, or some easy to digest chicken and rice, or some cod and baked potatoes would be a few suggestions.


Cooling Down after the Workout

After a workout we often are feeling great that the workout is done and are ready to get on with our day. However, I challenge you to take at least 10 minutes after the workout to bring yourself back into parasympathetic state.
Just as you take 10 or so minutes for your warm up to help improve performance, giving yourself 10 minutes for a cool down can be beneficial for recovery.
Exercising brings us into sympathetic compared to parasympathetic and that is a good thing! However, we don’t necessarily want to stay there. It is important for us to return to a PNS state so that the body can start our recovery process. Furthermore, it is important for us to return to PNS when we consume our post-workout meal. We want to be digesting our meal, and in order to do so optimally, the body does not want to be in a sympathetic state.

Example Cool Down Routine:

  • 10 minute recovery walk/ bike/ jog
  • Stretching
    • Can do a combination of dynamic and static
    • Focus mostly on the body parts that were worked
  • Deep belly breathing (bonus with legs up the wall)
  • 5 minute meditation


The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body, and it represents the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system and overseas many crucial bodily functions. One way to increase vagal tone is through breathing. Box breathing, alternate nasal breathing, gargling and humming are a few ways to stimulate the vagus nerve.