You have probably heard people discussing HIIT at the gym, and you were probably wondering ‘is this a typical workout?’ and hopefully ‘how would I best support my body after this intense workout?’. When it comes to what to eat after HIIT, it is important to eat appropriately to replace your energy stores.
So before going over post HIIT nutrition, let’s first review what HIIT is.
What is HIIT?
HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, is a type of training that consists of short periods of intense exercise. It is more exhaustive than traditional exercise and depletes your energy stores.
Since you get your heart up quickly and burn many calories in a short time period during a HIIT workout, it is crucial that when eating after HIIT, you prioritize properly refueling your body. Yes, your metabolism is higher than normal for hours after a HIIT workout, but that doesn’t mean that your post HIIT nutrition should not be healthy and tailored. In fact, to get the most out of your HIIT workout, you want to eat with health and fitness in mind to see and feel ideal results from your workout.
Now let’s go on to learn what to eat after HIIT cardio or standard HIIT workout.
What to eat after a HIIT workout
Post HIIT nutrition includes a high complex carbohydrate and moderate lean protein snack within 30-45 minutes after your post-workout cool down.
The high complex carbohydrate replenishes your energy and fuel reserves, and the lean protein builds and repairs your muscle tissue. Here are some examples:
- Egg omelet with vegetables (including leafy greens and cooked with turmeric and cracked black pepper) and a side of fresh fruit
- Turkey and vegetable wrap (in a whole grain wrap)
- Whole grain oats, mixed with chia seeds, fresh fruit and yogurt
- Tuna sandwich on whole grain bread
- Stir fry with chicken breast, vegetables and grain
- Avocado toast with two eggs
It is also important to stay hydrated after your workout, so be sure to slowly sip on filtered water.
If you cannot eat an adequate meal after your workout for whatever reason, be sure to at least eat a snack afterwards that will help your body in the muscle recovery process. This could mean having a protein smoothie before you are able to have a more well-rounded meal.
If you do not refuel, repair and rehydrate your body, you run the risk of negative consequences. Negative consequences may include: hypoglycemia, fatigue, increased soreness, and overall not making the most out of your workout.