The importance of re-fuelling after exercise by CPT's female personal trainer, Lou.

The importance of re-fuelling after exercise by CPT's female personal trainer, Lou.

Posted in nutrition

Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is one of the most important parts of the day, as it relieves stress, releases the endorphins (the feel good factor) and helps to keep you in shape. However, some people underestimate the importance of re-fuelling with the right nutrients after working out. Re-fuelling your body plays the largest role in supplying your body with everything that it will need to repair, rebuild, recover and adapt to the strain you just placed on your muscles.

The initial feeling post exercise will be fantastic; you will feel full of energy and motivated in whatever tasks you may have at hand. However, directly after exercise your appetite could be lacking for a half an hour or so. Once this window has passed, ensure to feed your body with the nutrients it needs to build and repair your muscles. If you neglect your body from the fuel it requires to function efficiently the euphoric feeling will quickly diminish, as there will be nothing left in the tank, which will make you feel extremely lethargic.  Think of it like a car running on no petrol – it cannot function!

The facts:  

Exercise depletes our glycogen stores, which is the technical term used to describe our energy. When we exercise, we break down the fuel sources from sugar or glycogen that are stored in our liver and muscles. Furthermore, dehydration from the sweat produced during exercise must also be replenished with plenty of water.

If you would like more information on the facts behind re-fuelling, please read on here;

The time frame:

Try to eat/drink some protein within 30 minutes post work out.  Protein is one of the most important food supplies to eat after exercise, as it is the most efficient at helping the muscles to repair and re-build. The next step is trying to eat a solid meal 1 - 1½ hours post protein boost.  


The body stores excess carbohydrate as glycogen, which is stored in the muscles and liver. Therefore, the carbohydrates that are consumed on a day-to-day basis will have an impact on the amount of glycogen you store in the muscles. Consequently, the amount you have within the muscles will have a major impact on your energy levels when working out and afterwards too. Furthermore, when we exercise we damage some of the very small muscle fibres, which need to repair and re-build to ensure we get fitter and stronger. Hence, eating protein after exercise is an extremely beneficial factor towards speeding up this process.  

What foods should I eat?

Chicken breast, egg whites, lean beef and tuna are fantastic sources of lean protein. You should always include some carbohydrates too, as you will be lacking in supplies from the work out. Always try and opt for a variety like porridge (with no added sugar), brown pasta, potatoes or brown rice. You can mix and match with your preferred protein and carbohydrate. Be sure to have a good combination of both.

Finally, drink lots of water throughout the day! Not only does it keep you hydrated, it helps to curb feelings of hunger that may be due to dehydration.

If you need that extra push or motivation to get you where you want to be, then please get in touch with our Chelsea Personal Trainers, who will be able to put together a tailored diet and exercise plan for you!