Getting in your workout is a great thing, but you need to refuel when you’re done. Not just any snack will do either. You don’t want to undo all your hard work by going out for burritos or slurping a giant soda on the way home from the gym. Instead, you need to choose a food that will reenergize you, but keep you healthy at the same time. According to the experts these are the best things to nibble after a workout.
If it’s mealtime when you finish a workout, a snack isn’t going to satisfy your hunger. That’s why you need a go to meal that is packed with the nutrients you need for recovery and without all the fat and calories that negate your hard work. The chicken offers up protein for your muscles and the carbs help replenish your energy stores. Season the meat and veggies with your favorite spice to add flavor and excitement to the meal.
If you don’t want to put a full meal into your stomach, but you need something to refuel your body with, chocolate milk is the answer you’ve been looking for. Recent research finds that this sweet drink is better for you than water or sports drinks after exercise because it contains just a bit of sodium and sugar, which help you recover and it also has protein for your muscles. Perfect!
Eggs are a wonderful choice after you work out because they are loaded with protein, which helps your muscles recover and grow in strength and size. Add sliced veggies, such as mushrooms, peppers or onions, to your omelet and you get some complex carbs to restore your energy levels. A bit of diced avocado offers some healthy fats for energy and good health.
If you crave something a bit sweet after exercise, peanut butter and bananas should quell the craving. Spread a thin smear of natural peanut butter on whole grain toast and top it with slices of banana. This treat offers you the perfect ratio of healthy fats, carbs and protein to refuel your body and help you recover from a workout.
Even if you like to wait a while after exercise to eat a substantial amount of food, you do need to refuel and orange juice is a prime choice. It contains more potassium than a sports drink and a bit less sugar. The juice will also help you replenish your fluid levels and give you some energy to face what’s coming next in your day.
If there was ever a powerhouse duo of post-workout meal foods, salmon and quinoa is it. The fish offers protein and omega-3 fatty acids to help your muscles repair and recover and the quinoa pumps you up with fiber and protein to help you feel full without overdoing it on fat and calories.
Research shows that eating blueberries after a workout can triple your rate of recovery, and that’s great news if you want to move on to something else without feeling tired and worn out. You can certainly eat the blueberries plain, but if you’re hungrier, add them to a bowl of hot quinoa instead.
Eating oatmeal will give you the carbs you need after a workout to recharge your body. And since you're metabolism is still revving for hours after a workout, you don't need to worry about the body storing these carbs as fat. You need carbs to up insulin secretion and replenish the lost glycogen from the workout.
Avocados are filled with healthy fats in general, but eating one post workout to enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Combine with carbs and you've got a great post workout meal combo.
Store some protein bars in the car and nosh on one on your way home from the gym. Protein will repair the muscles as well as build them up. Protein rich foods (such as protein bars) replace amino acids in the body, fueling your muscles with the right stuff to build new. Protein maximizes recovery after a workout as well, leaving you less sore in the long run.
What do you eat after your workout?
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