The time after you work out is crucial for getting the most benefits from your hard work at the gym. There is no strict cut-off, but by about an hour after your workout, having a balanced meal with protein and carbohydrates will help your muscles recover quicker, aid in soreness, and replenish the nutrients lost during exercise. Think of it this way- the quicker you recover, the sooner you can exercise again, and the faster you get results.
Many people are familiar with the recommendation to have protein after exercising but pairing that protein with carbohydrates is just as important. A meal like grilled chicken fajitas with brown rice is one example. Another idea is to make a protein banana smoothie with milk as the base instead of just water.
~Kaylee Brown, Registered Dietitian