What will happen if I don’t eat anything after finishing my workout and eat after around 1hr. Will my body use muscle mass to compensate for the protein it need?

2 Answers 2


Not necessarily but it's important. Your body needs fuel after working out for muscle recovery, which is a process to essentially heal the micro-tears caused in your muscles by working out(This is a good thing!) If you do not eat within roughly 30 minutes to an hour, your muscle recovery gets affected. While this won't cause you muscle loss necessarily, your body will miss out on recovering fully. This can affect:

  1. your muscle growth. You won't lose muscle but you might not make very good gains if your muscles don't have glycogen stored or anything to help them aid in recovery
  2. muscle repair. This could leave your muscles needing recovery, and exposes you to overuse injuries and overtraining.
  3. Fatigue or grogginess-It could make you feel like you want to take a nap and basically has the same effect as a sugar crash. If you ever feel really tired after working out you need to eat.
  4. Low blood sugar-Yes, your blood sugar could drop. If your diet is not consisting of a lot of carbs as is, this could cause some serious issues.
  5. dehydration-This goes without saying, but always stay hydrated

The best thing to eat before and after a workout is simple carbs, complex carbs, and protein. I'd argue that carbohydrates are more important than protein as without carbs, your glycogen stores will be low and it will cause you to be fatigued during your workout missing out on new weight PR's, etc. carbs also refill your glycogen, which at as your muscles fuel supply. Whey protein also delivers a quick shot of amino acids for growth. If you don't have time to eat, then down a whey protein drink mixed with water with a tablespoon or two of honey, a pop-tart, or other sugary snack with a lot of carbs.

Here is an article that explains more: https://www.self.com/story/this-is-what-happens-when-you-dont-eat-after-a-workout


Absolutely not. The half-hour-after myth has primarily been proliferated by poor quality (read: deliberately misleading) studies funded by supplement manufacturers, which have been intended, of course, to encourage athletes to buy their supplements. Scientific evidence demonstrates clearly that recovery is a function of total protein consumption, independent of the time at which the protein is consumed.

This comes with a small caveat: if you are performing bouts of extreme exercise, as is typical of marathon runners and Ironman triathletes, for example, the body can be deleteriously depleted of blood glucose and muscle/liver glycogen immediately following the bout, thus placing it in a state of ketosis. If this is not remedied with the introduction of carbohydrates, and the body is left in this state for an elongated period of time, it will lead to the catabolism of muscle cells.

Thus, the general scientific guideline is to replenish sugars immediately after a vigorous bout of exercise, and to ensure that total protein consumption over the day is within guidelines.

I hope that helps.


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