Breakfast yogurt parfait with granola, mango, berries in jar

These are the best post-workout breakfasts to help you refuelThese are the best post-workout breakfasts to help you refuel

Choosing what to eat after a really tough workout is a big decision.

You’re probably ravenous, but you don’t want to fill your body with junk straight after working so hard in the gym.

Carbs? Protein? Fruit? It’s hard to know what your body needs after a big session – so we asked some experts to break it down for us.

Nutrition is a really important part of your recovery. If you have any fitness goals, be it training for an event or losing weight, you’re not going to get there without making conscious decisions about what you put in your mouth.

‘As we exercise, our muscles are using their glycogen stores for energy,’ says nutritionist Amaeze Madukah.

‘Glycogen is the main storage form of glucose in our body. This means that post-workout, our muscles will have less glycogen stores and some of our muscle protein will be broken down.

The best post-workout breakfasts

Oatmeal with almond butter and banana

Salmon with scrambled eggs

Eggs, avocado and on wholegrain bread

Tofu scramble with spinach

Protein shake with banana

Tempeh and sweet potato hash

Greek yoghurt berry granola

Don’t forget to keep your hydration levels up too by drinking water to replenish your fluids depleted through sweating

Amaeze Madukah, nutritionist


‘Our bodies will seek to both repair and refuel the muscles, therefore it is important to eat foods that will help facilitate this.

‘Aim to have a meal that includes good quality carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores and protein to provide the amino acids needed for muscle tissue repair and re-modelling.’

This is really solid advice, and a good reminder that not all carbs are created equal.

Amaeze also says that how you recover after fitness depends on what kind of activity you’ve been doing, and how intense it was.

‘A marathon runner will be depleting more glycogen than a bodybuilder so will require more carbohydrates post-workout,’ she explains.

‘You can find protein in foods such as eggs, nuts, salmon, sardines, tofu, tempeh, beans and quinoa.

‘Carbohydrate examples include wholegrain oats, wholegrain bread, fruits such as bananas and berries.

Breakfast yogurt parfait with granola, mango, berries in jar

You need fats, proteins and good quality carbs. (Picture: Getty)

‘Fats are needed in the repair process also and can be found in foods such as Greek yogurt, avocadoes and nuts.

‘Where possible, aim to eat within 30-50 minutes post-training as our body’s ability to remake glycogen and protein is enhanced after a workout.’

It’s not all about food. A huge part of sports recovery is to do with rehydrating your body – because of, you know, all the sweating.

It makes sense that we would have to replace some of those liquids in order to function at our best.

‘After a workout ensure you continue sipping on water as you still need to be hydrating the cells of your body,’ suggests Nutritionist Resource member Sonal Shah.

‘Especially if you trained intensively and sweating.

‘It is also important to have a breakfast either 1.5 hours before your workout, or no longer than one hour after your workout.

‘The best breakfast after a workout is one that contains some carbs and protein to replenish the lost energy stores.’

We asked Sonal for her favourite post-workout recipes and now we’re really hungry:

‘Boiled or poached egg with sourdough, rye or gluten-free bread, with some healthy vegetables on the side, cooked how you like or raw.

‘An omelette made with two eggs and three different vegetables. Examples are; asparagus, diced peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms.

‘A green smoothie some greens such as spirulina or moringa powde,r and a portion of fruit blended in for sweetness or a protein powder of choice.

‘If you prefer not to add powders then add green vegetables such as kale, or spinach and avocado and blend together in coconut water or milk of choice.’

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