Hitting the gym is only half the battle. The rest is up to you in the kitchen. Properly fueling your body after a workout not only helps your muscles heal faster, it also helps you build strength and stamina in the long term. For maximum performance, be sure to sip liquids throughout your workout and eat a healthy snack or small meal 30 minutes to an hour afterwards.
Best Post-Workout Snacks
The perfect post-workout snack is a combination of carbohydrates and lean proteins. Carbohydrates give your body energy and the protein helps to repair muscles. It’s important to keep portion control in mind when selecting a snack. Trust us, it’s very easy to go overboard after a grueling sweat session. We recommend:
- Greek yogurt with fruit: Did you know that Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt? Try selecting plain yogurt over flavored to cut down on added sugar, and mix in your own fresh fruit.
- Eggs: Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients because they contain all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and help reduce muscle damage in the body. If you’re tempted to throw away the yoke, don’t. They contain half of the egg’s protein, and all of its Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Bananas: Bananas are an excellent source of “good” carbs that will quickly replenish your glycogen stores in your muscles (what gives you energy to workout). They also are a wonderful source of potassium which helps prevent muscle cramps.
- Whole grain pita bread and hummus: The fiber from the pita bread will help keep you full and hummus is full of protein and healthy fats. You can also switch out the pita bread for carrots and celery sticks. Both are great sources of fiber and will satisfy your crunch craving.
- Grilled salmon/chicken and vegetables: Did you work out close to dinner time? Skip the snack and have a healthy meal of a lean protein and vegetables cooked in a little olive oil. Sweet potatoes make an excellent side because they contain three days’ worth of Vitamin A and loaded with fiber to keep you full.
Best Post-Workout Drinks
Your body consists of 60% water, so it’s important to replenish fluids lost during your workout. Staying properly hydrated reduces muscle cramps, speeds up recovery time, and can help you lose weight! For post-workout beverages, we recommend:
- Water: This may be a no-brainer, but it’s essential to drink at least 8 ounces of water after your workout. Believe it or not, your body loses a lot of water from just breathing and sweating while exercising.
- Chocolate Milk: An oldie-but-goodie, this classic combination of low-fat milk and chocolate syrup has been a favorite of athletes for a good reason: it’s effective. The chocolate syrup provides you with quick-digesting carbohydrates and the milk has protein, Vitamin D, and calcium.
- Coconut Water: If you’re tired of sipping on water, try this trendy alternative. It’s low in sodium and carbohydrates, and contains more potassium than a banana. Drinking coconut water after a workout does not perform any miracles, but it’s an excellent way to make sure you stay hydrated.
- Sports Drinks: For the average workout, a sports drink is not necessary. But if you’re working out for longer than an hour or at an especially high intensity, water might not cut it. Sports drinks hydrate you and provide you with a little sugar to keep your energy up and replenish the sodium lost from sweating.
Looking for even more information on diet and exercise? Schedule a consultation with a Boost Trainer today! Happy sweating, and bon appetit!