Best Foods to Eat After a Workout
Last post I talked about a few of my favourite snacks to have before going to the gym, and the importance of having well balanced foods before a workout depending on the amount of time you have before you go and exercise, but what about after you’re done exercising? It’s extremely important to eat the right food after a workout, particularly high in protein and high in carbs because you want to be able to replenish your glycogen stores ( which get used as fuel during your workout ), and also give your body enough protein to begin rebuilding and strengthening your muscles after any sort of exercise. By providing your body with the right nutrients after a workout it will enhance your recovery so that you are ready to go for your next workout.
My first and foremost choice for a post workout snack would be a protein smoothie. I normally use vanilla whey protein, and mix it with frozen berries, bananas, mango, or any other mix that I think would not only be tasty, but beneficial for my body. For a post workout smoothie I normally use water due to the fact that it is quicker to digest than milk is. You want to be able to replenish your body as soon as possible so by using water you may be speeding up the process a bit quicker than if you were to use milk ( plus I’m not a huge milk fan ). A smoothie is the quickest way for me to get proper nutrients into my body soon after my workout, but this leaves me hungry about an hour and a half after consumption, which means I’ll be having a larger meal soon after.
Egg Avo Toast
If you have a bit more time to make a meal and you want to fill your body up with more food than a simple smoothie, my next go to is an egg-white omelette with spinach and onion, with half an avocado sliced onto a piece of toast. This is one of my favourite meals to have after exercising if I have the time to prepare it. You are providing your body with an ample amount of protein, carbs, and even a bit of fat from the avocado. This will ensure that your body is getting a good amount of nutrients in order to help the body recover. Although I tend to try to stay away from fats after a workout because the main focus should be on replenishing glycogen stores ( carbs ), and protein in order to rebuild muscle, I am a sucker for avocado, and only having half of one, in my opinion, isn’t overdoing it in terms of fat consumption. Depending on your workout, you may need to replenish some of your fat stores as well.
My last go to meal is a simple, bland, but extremely nutritious one: plain chicken breast ( or tofu for vegetarians ), broccoli, and brown rice. Although this isn’t one of my favourite meals in terms of taste, it is one of my favourites to consume after a workout because of all the nutrients that these 3 foods provide. By eating this I am getting more than enough protein, and providing my body with a good amount of carbs in order to start to repair my muscles. Out of the three meals mentioned, this is my least favourite to eat, but also I believe that it is the most beneficial for my body ( again, depending on what exercise I just did ).
It’s always good to remember how important not only the pre-workout snack is, but also how important feeding your body the right nutrients afterwards in order to enhance the recovery process by replenishing glycogen stores, and helping to decrease muscle breakdown. It’s not set in stone that these three meals/snacks are the best for your body, but they work for me. It’s always good to experiment a bit with what you consume after your workout, and try different foods for different types of workouts to see what works best for you and your body.