Why do you feel like you could eat a horse after your workout? It’s not as simple as the fact that your body is trying to replace the calories it just burned and get its energy stores filled up again. Heather Milton is an exercise physiologist from NYU’s Sports Performance Center. And she says there’s a psychological component. You know you just burned a bunch of calories – and you think you should be hungry – so you ARE hungry. But the truth is, exercising does NOT cause a hunger response – unless your blood sugar is low. The best way to prevent a blood sugar dip post-exercise is to have a small PRE-workout snack. Less than 200 calories. Like a few apple slices with peanut butter. Or even a small container of chocolate milk about an hour before.
Also, know this: We tend to get hungrier after moderate-intensity long workouts – than from short, high-intensity workouts. So you’ll be hungrier after an hour-long jog, for example, than 20 minutes of CrossFit. Or you could just be dehydrated. Our brain has a hard time telling the difference between thirst and hunger. So you may not actually be ravenous after a workout – you may just need water.