People sometimes talk about a "recovery meal".

  • What is a recovery meal?
  • When should one eat the recovery meal?
  • Of what should it consist?

There may be variation depending on the preceding activity, but there are probably some guiding principles.

  • 1
    btw, I searched this site and I don't see a direct answer to this. While it may be embedded, in bits and pieces, in other answers, the point of stackexchange sites is to amass a database of high-quality answers to specific questions
    – Argalatyr
    Jul 12, 2011 at 2:46
  • Your recovery meal will be dictated by type of exercise and your goals. Without that info, it is hard to answer...too many variables! Please provide more information.
    – GuyZee
    Jul 12, 2011 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


A recovery meal is a meal consumed to aid your body in recovery after exercise. You should generally eat this meal directly after exercise, except if the goal of the exercise is weight-loss.

Your recovery meal should consist of carbs, to replace the muscle glycogen that was burned during your workout, and lean protein to aid muscle repair and recovery for the next workout.

A recovery meal is only required if your next workout will be in less than 48 hours (my opinion). Your normal meals will do fine if the gap between workouts are 48 hours or more.

  • 1
    I'd only modify that answer to include a very small post workout snack for those attempting weight-loss. Eating a small bit (say an apple) will help the body from going into starvation mode. Jul 12, 2011 at 14:59
  • @baldy thanks for your answer. @Christopher: instead of "help", do you mean "keep"? Seems like a good suggestion.
    – Argalatyr
    Jul 13, 2011 at 1:48
  • @Argalatyr I meant to write "help keep", but you can interpret my omissions however you see fit. :) Jul 13, 2011 at 11:58
  • +1 good answer. I'd also put emphasis on the 'how much' of each type of nutrient. For instance, more emphasis on protein after anaerobic or weight lifting and more emphasis on carbs after long duration aerobic. Also, don't forget to replenish your electrolytes (potassium, sodium). Most sports drinks supplement these but also contain a ton of sugar (bad for weight loss). A healthy alternative would include eating a banana and food with some salt, or drinking some pickle juice. Electrolytes are the key to avoid the workout-hangover feeling the morning after a hard workout. Jul 15, 2011 at 21:26
  • On a side-note, the original Gatorade that became so famous was basically water with potassium, salt, lemon juice, and a little sugar added to replace electrolytes and give a little energy boost. It also supposedly tasted terrible. The stuff you see in stores is not the same formula. Store-bought Gatorade is nothing but non-carbonated soda with some potassium and sodium added. You can make your own homemade gatorade using Morton's Lite Salt (potassium chloride), sugar, lemon juice (or Kool-aid), and regular salt, just be careful about how much potassium/salt you add. Jul 15, 2011 at 21:40

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