During your workout, your body uses nutrients stored in your muscles, including protein, glycogen, and stored carbohydrates. There is a thirty- to sixty-minute window after your workout ends when your body is most receptive to absorbing nutrients to replenish your depleted stores. Eating any of the best post-workout foods within that window helps your muscles to adequately recover.
Here are some of the best foods you can eat for a positive post-workout recovery:
Greek yogurt has become a popular snack today due to its high protein content – just what you need after a heavy workout.
Adding in some fruit or whole grain cereal will not only give your meal some extra taste and texture, but will also increase the amount of carbohydrates and other nutrients you’ll take in.
Protein Shake or Green Smoothie
Mix up half a banana and a scoop of protein powder along with almond milk for an easy post-workout meal that will refuel and rebuild your protein stores.
If you have a little more time, you can fill up on other great nutrients by whipping up a quick green smoothie with some fruit, leafy greens, and protein powder. The liquid in these drinkable snacks also helps to re-hydrate you, also always important after a workout.
Use dark, leafy greens such as kale or spinach that are high in nutritional value for the base of your salad and then top with a good source of protein, such as almonds, beans, hard-boiled eggs, or lean chicken.
Opt for a light olive oil for the dressing, which contains healthy fats your body needs, and add fruit or whole grains like quinoa or whole-wheat bread for a side.
Eggs are a great source of protein and one of the best post-workout foods. If you are worried about cholesterol, you can use only egg whites, or one whole egg and two to three egg whites.
Spice it up by mixing in your favorite veggies and add some black beans with a slice of whole wheat toast on the side.
Sandwich or Wrap
Grabbing a sandwich is a quick and easy go-to meal, especially if you are working out in the middle of your day. Consider tuna salad made with low fat mayo, or a roast beef and cheese sandwich.
Be sure to choose whole wheat or multi-grain bread. Or you could try a chicken or black bean wrap in a whole wheat tortilla. Include a side of yogurt or fruit for additional flavor and nutrients.
Failing to eat the right kind of food after your workout can make you feel weaker and leave you at a greater risk of injury the next time you exercise. Replenishing your body’s supplies of protein and carbohydrates after your workout is particularly vital, although other nutrients found in fruits and vegetables also aid recovery – and re-hydrating is always important. Whip up some of these best post-workout foods after your workouts to keep your body working at its best.