Post-Workout Recovery for Vegans

July 1, 2017

Making sure that you refuel and recover correctly after a work out is essential. Filling your body with the right food and drink can help promote muscle repair and growth, boost adaptions from the training session, support immune function and rehydrate the body. For people completing two or more sessions a day, or sessions in close succession this is even more important to improve recovery and reduce muscle fatigue. In this article we’re going to look at the important factors in optimising post-workout recovery for vegans.


Post-workout meal timing

Within the first 60 to 90 minutes after exercise is when the body works most effectively in replacing lost carbohydrate stores and promoting muscle repair and growth. For people who have multiple training sessions in close succession, recovery nutrition should begin in the first 60 minutes. Alternatively, for those who do not have another training session for a significant period of time, the next meal can act as recovery nutrition or recovery can be split into two parts; having a small snack to kick start recovery, and then using the next main meal to meet and maximise recovery goals.


Best Vegan Foods to Eat After Exercising

After exercising, you want your food to contain the following:

  • A good source of carbohydrates – this helps to replenish lost muscle fuel stores
  • A high bioavailable protein source (this means that the protein is well absorbed by the body)
  • A good source of fluid and electrolytes to maximise rehydrating.

The following plant based meal ideas, contain all three of these factors when paired with water or an electrolyte drink.

  • Fresh fruit salad topped with soy yoghurt
  • Vegetable burrito with beans and rice
  • Tofu and vegetable stir fry with noodles
  • Fruit smoothie made with soy milk
  • Tofu rice paper rolls with vermicelli


Best Post-Workout Fluids

Just like food, the best fluid to consume after exercise is dependent on your goals. For people wanting to simply rehydrate from the session then water and electrolyte drinks are preferential choices. However, if wanting to meet your carbohydrate goals, then sports drinks are also a helpful option as they help to rehydrate and refuel your body simultaneously. Smoothies, flavoured milk and other dairy based fluids are also beneficial for people wanting to consume carbohydrates, proteins and electrolytes all together. Protein powders and recovery shakes are beneficial in some circumstances, however for the majority of people, recovery can be achieved through regular food and drinks.



Enjoy this article on post-workout recovery for vegans? Read our post on How to Build Muscle on A Vegan Diet

If you’re following a plant-based or vegan diet and want to make sure you’re meeting all your nutritional needs, take control and apply to work with one of our expert plant-based dietitians.

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