What to Eat After a Workout
I have been working hard to lose my baby weight, and that means a lot of exercise! When I was younger, I didn’t think you were supposed to eat anything after a workout- I mean, I just burned calories, why would I put more in my body? But I have since learned that what you eat after a workout can make a big impact on recovery, weight loss, and energy levels!
Obviously, this doesn’t mean we should just start downing a bag of Doritos and a donut after a workout. You have to be smart about what you put into your body! While we usually think about the importance of drinking water to rehydrate, the food you eat can make a big impact on your recovery as well.
Whatever you eat after a workout should consist of a balance between protein and complex (healthy) carbs. After a workout, your energy is depleted and your body needs to refuel, and carbs is a great way to get that energy back up. Protein will help restore your muscles after a good workout, helping you get stronger and reducing muscle soreness. For your post meal/snack to be the most effective, you should eat it within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, so planning ahead is definitely helpful! For me, ¾ of the battle of healthy eating is the thought and preparation. To help with that, here is a list of foods that are post-workout-approved and will help with muscle soreness, energy levels, and your overall weight loss goals!
First, a list of good sources of protein to assist with muscle recovery and fatigue:
Low-fat cheese stick
Here are some suggestions of healthy carbs to replenish your energy:
Whole grain crackers
You can combine any of the above for a great post-workout meal or snack, or you can keep reading for some ideas on how to get your carbs AND your protein!
Tuna on whole grain crackers
Greek yogurt with berries and nuts
Grilled chicken and veggies in a pita
Cottage cheese and peaches
A slice of whole grain toast with a poached egg and slices of avocado
Dried fruit and nuts
Hummus with whole grain crackers and carrot sticks
Salmon and brown rice
Oatmeal with a dash of protein powder
Whole wheat wrap with turkey and veggies
Eggs with black beans and peppers
Rice cakes with peanut butter
Salmon with sweet potato slices
Hard boiled egg with orange slices
Low-fat cheese sticks with apples slices and raw almonds
Grilled chicken with watermelon and avocado
An easy way to take the thought process out of meal/snack prep after your workouts is to create a healthy post-workout cookbook in Cook’n. Put all your favorite recipes in here, even if it’s as simple as hummus with carrots. By doing this, you can take it a step further and create a post- workout “meal plan” using one of the meal plan templates, so that your snacks and meals post-workout are planned for the entire week! With all the thought planned ahead of time, you’ll have no excuses ;).
Let’s help each other out! I’d love to hear about what your favorite post-workout snacks are! Share them in the comments below!
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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