Prior to a workout, your body needs adequate fuel, that is, enough carbs, for energy. Exercise is known to weaken the muscles and put additional strain on the bones, so, the body needs the fuel to repair quicker.
Proper after-workout diet will lower stress injuries, restore the energy, and you will be prepared for the next physical performance. When you learn what you should eat and when to optimize the performance, the diet plan that you will implement will have a great effect on your overall health as well.
The meals that you should eat after workouts need to be meals with a balanced amount of carbs and protein and you should eat the meal within 2 hours of the workout.
Below, you have several different meals that you can choose as a post-workout meal:
- Greek yogurt with blueberries or raspberries– a meal whose calorie count is low but it is rich in protein.
- Peanut butter and banana sandwich– a great meal that will help you recover after a workout because it’s rich in carbs that are not difficult to digest.
- Tuna and crackers-a meal rich in protein which is highly recommendable after a workout; its calorie count is only 300.
- Low-fat chocolate milk and crackers– chocolate milk is rich in protein, carbs, and water as well. The water will compensate for the lost fluids during the workout. It also has calcium and sugar that will aid the recovery. Moreover, the crackers will boost the body with some extra carbs that aren’t heavy for digestion or fattening.
- Grilled chicken with brown rice or veggies- a meal which is rich in protein and carbs, but it won’t make you bloated. The veggies or rice are a great and healthy addition to a protein-rich chicken.
- Whole-wheat pasta and meatballs- the meatballs should be made of lean beef or chicken to avoid too fatty protein.
These are the foods that you should avoid eating after a workout:
- French fries
- Hot dogs
- Raw veggies
- Milk chocolate bars
These foods will only add fat to the body and impede the digestion. Even though fat sustains energy, it’s less beneficial when eaten prior to or after a workout because they are low in calories and prevent the body from using its fat deposits as energy. Furthermore, salty snacks like chips or pretzels are known to reduce the potassium levels. Potassium is an electrolyte and an important mineral which betters the functioning of the cells. Therefore, you shouldn’t waste the potassium levels in the body on salty snacks since the body needs as much as electrolytes as possible after a strenuous workout.
Raw veggies cannot supply you with the protein and carbs your body needs after a workout. If you want to eat them after a workout, make sure to mix them with some hummus or nut butter. Pastries and chocolate bars are full of empty calories and this will only cause a spike of energy briefly after eating the bar, but it will disappear quickly and the body will still crave protein.
Creatine supplements aid the body’s recovery after an intense workout, especially high-intensity weight training. According to studies, consumption of Creatine after a workout increases the strength of the muscles and lowers the fat deposits in the body.
Also, you should drink a lot of water after a workout to maintain the body hydrated. For example, you can combine water and a banana to quench the thirst and replenish the lost electrolytes during the sweating.