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  1. #1
    Registered User BornReady86's Avatar
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    Question What/When to eat after HIIT?

    how long should i be waiting to eat a meal after i finish my HIIT session?

    also, is there anything specific i should be eating in this meal? i've heard people say that after cardio is the very best time to eat fruit...so im thinking a fruit salad and some chicken breast?
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    Pass The Refridgerator kudostojen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BornReady86 View Post
    how long should i be waiting to eat a meal after i finish my HIIT session?

    also, is there anything specific i should be eating in this meal? i've heard people say that after cardio is the very best time to eat fruit...so im thinking a fruit salad and some chicken breast?
    the same thing you would have after weight training. If you're doing HIIT correctly you should be dead on your feet when you're finished and your body will need the nutrients, protein and carbs.
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  3. #3
    Registered User gymbabe90's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BornReady86 View Post
    how long should i be waiting to eat a meal after i finish my HIIT session?

    also, is there anything specific i should be eating in this meal? i've heard people say that after cardio is the very best time to eat fruit...so im thinking a fruit salad and some chicken breast?
    like she said ^^^ if you're doing HIIT then you should be exhausted and in need of nutrients afterwards. I personally like a protein shake with banana or a protein BAR. make sure it's a good kind though such as promax, or supreme carb concious. IF you are cutting tho, you won't want these choices and u should stick to like chicken or tuna and just a protein shake without the banana. if you are eating fruit salad after a W/O, you need to get some protein in with it to slow the digestion of the simple sugars or else it's gonna spike yah
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    Registered User rock201's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gymbabe90 View Post
    like she said ^^^ if you're doing HIIT then you should be exhausted and in need of nutrients afterwards. I personally like a protein shake with banana or a protein BAR. make sure it's a good kind though such as promax, or supreme carb concious. IF you are cutting tho, you won't want these choices and u should stick to like chicken or tuna and just a protein shake without the banana. if you are eating fruit salad after a W/O, you need to get some protein in with it to slow the digestion of the simple sugars or else it's gonna spike yah
    lol
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  5. #5
    Registered User snorkelman's Avatar
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    I would never recommend a protein bar as being optimal post workout nutrition, no matter what particular bar you have. They can be acceptable in a pinch and for convenience sake, but they are not the best choice, which is what OP seems to be seeking.

    OP, do not ignore your pre-workout nutrition, as the post workout nutrition should be designed to complement what you had pre-workout.

    To directly answer your question, fruit salad and chicken would be fine post workout.
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  6. #6
    Registered User zither's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kudostojen
    the same thing you would have after weight training.
    Why? Why would you need to eat as much protein after HIIT as after weight training? This advice makes no sense to me.


    To the OP, what are your goals? Are you trying to lose fat or gain muscle? This would seem to be quite important. Since you didn't say, I will assume that you are trying to lose fat (most people doing HIIT are). In this case, why eat after HIIT? If you are famished, then sure, eat - always listen to your body. But if you're not, I see no reason to go out of your way to eat a meal. If you've done HIIT at a high enough intensity, your body should be in afterburn mode for a couple hours afterward - during this time you would like it to be burning fat. It will if left to its own devices; not so much if you supply it with a bunch of carbs.

    So for fat loss, I would recommend eating a meal before HIIT, burning that meal off in the HIIT, then afterward letting my heart rate settle down (might take a couple hours) before eating my next meal. I am not a nutritionist or anything, but this seems the most logical to me.

    If you are trying to build muscle then I guess you would just eat your regular balanced meals before and after the HIIT.
    Last edited by zither; 11-12-2009 at 01:53 AM.
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  7. #7
    Coconut water addicted dago85's Avatar
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    yes the same thing that you have after the weight training because this's the most important time to get carbs+proteins for the glycogen restore, energy and supply the muscles with aminoacids..
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    Registered User Jeclavad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gymbabe90 View Post
    if you are eating fruit salad after a W/O, you need to get some protein in with it to slow the digestion of the simple sugars or else it's gonna spike yah
    Eh...not sure about that...
    Fruit is mainly fructose -> simple carbs but slowly released in the blood stream -> no insulin spike.
    Some protein can spike your insulin level more than carbs (whey protein for example).

    OP, It depends on your goal, meal plan, pre-HIIT, daily calorie intake, etc.
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  9. #9
    Pass The Refridgerator kudostojen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zither View Post
    Why? Why would you need to eat as much protein after HIIT as after weight training? This advice makes no sense to me.
    Because HIIT is hard on your body and you should treat it like you just finished weight training.



    Originally Posted by zither View Post
    In this case, why eat after HIIT? If you are famished, then sure, eat - always listen to your body. But if you're not, I see no reason to go out of your way to eat a meal. If you've done HIIT at a high enough intensity, your body should be in afterburn mode for a couple hours afterward - during this time you would like it to be burning fat. It will if left to its own devices; not so much if you supply it with a bunch of carbs.
    huh????? No.

    Originally Posted by zither View Post
    So for fat loss, I would recommend eating a meal before HIIT, burning that meal off in the HIIT, then afterward letting my heart rate settle down (might take a couple hours) before eating my next meal. I am not a nutritionist or anything, but this seems the most logical to me.
    A few HOURS for your heart rate to settle?
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  10. #10
    Registered User zither's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kudostojen View Post
    Because HIIT is hard on your body and you should treat it like you just finished weight training.
    The reason you eat so much protein after weights is not because the workout was "hard on your body." It is to supply your muscles when they are at the state of maximum protein synthesis. This doesn't apply after HIIT - totally different scenario. You have to ask why you are performing the HIIT in the first place. If it is to burn fat, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to plan a meal afterward, IMO.

    A few HOURS for your heart rate to settle?
    First of all, I said a couple hours (as in two, although it could be more after a really intense HIIT). If you wear a heart rate monitor after a particularly vigorous workout (e.g. heartrates to 95%+ of max repeatedly), you will see that this is in fact the case.
    Last edited by zither; 11-12-2009 at 10:16 AM.
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  11. #11
    Pass The Refridgerator kudostojen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zither View Post
    The reason you eat so much protein after weights is not because the workout was "hard on your body." It is to supply your muscles when they are at the state of maximum protein synthesis. This doesn't apply after HIIT - totally different scenario. You have to ask why you are performing the HIIT in the first place. If it is to burn fat, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to plan a meal afterward, IMO.
    That's what i meant by "hard on your body". Next time i will be more specific.
    Of course it's a different scenario. The training is different but there is still stress on your muscles. A lot of stress in the legs. That's why is recommended that you don't do HIIT on, before or after leg day. If HIIT is done correctly you will be hitting your lactate threshold and beyond. Your going to tell me your muscles don't need nutrients after pushing them like that?

    I have to strongly disagree with you on this one.



    Originally Posted by zither View Post
    First of all, I said a couple hours (as in two, although it could be more after a really intense HIIT). If you wear a heart rate monitor after a particularly vigorous workout (e.g. heartrates to 95%+ of max repeatedly), you will see that this is in fact the case.
    I have worn a heart rate monitor and it took very little time for my heart rate to get back to normal. Not a couple hours. Maybe i'm jsut different. I've never heard of that before.
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    Registered User zither's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kudostojen
    I have worn a heart rate monitor and it took very little time for my heart rate to get back to normal. Not a couple hours. Maybe i'm jsut different. I've never heard of that before.
    Okay, the nutritional aspects aside, this is what I have found personally. If I do what I would call a "moderate" form of HIIT, my heart rate comes back down pretty quickly and I don't burn many calories after the fact. These are intervals where I get my heart rate up to about 85% of its maximum - I might burn 300 calories during a short session and an additional 50 calories after the fact while my heart rate stays elevated. This is probably what most people do in the gym, and you are right, there isn't much afterburn.

    But if I really push myself and force my heart rate to go up to go up to 93%-95% each interval, then I find that it stays elevated for 1:30-2 hours afterwards. It hovers around 85 for a long while, instead of its usual around 60-65. So I might burn 300 calories during the short session and an additional 150 calories after the fact.

    Now I have trouble getting my heartrate above 95% in the gym, but when I do it playing a long hockey game (just like interval training with the shifts) my heart rate gets around maximum repeatedly, and I find that it stays significantly above rest for 4-5 hours after the game. So from this vigorous interval training I am able to burn several hundred additional calories after the fact.


    There appears to be an threshold that corresponds to approximately 85% of your heartrate. Above this level your anaerobic system predominantly takes over. The longer you stay surpass this threshold, the more "afterburn" your body will have to perform once the exercise is complete.
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