Nutrition is a crucial element to success on any fitness regimen. After you exercise, one of the first things you’ll want to do is drink and eat. This isn’t a meal window you want to skip. Workouts stress the body and your muscles will be aching to start their repair. If you don’t have the time to arrange proper, post-workout meals, (which should contain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats) then a meal plan delivery service might just be one of the better options.
This way, you take the stress out of food prep and essentially get meal kits ready to go! All that needed peeling, chopping, or marinating has been done, and all that’s left for you to do is…well, eat! OK, let’s get into the list in Post-Workout: 12 Foods You Should Eat to RECHARGE Yourself!
1. Eggs are an Ideal, Post-Workout Food
Eggs are easy to make in numerous ways; boiled, poached etc. If you’re concerned about cholesterol, stick with egg whites instead of whole eggs. All in all, eggs are a great source of protein and a great food to include on your plate.
2. Fruits Make for Stimulating, Psychophysically-Refreshing, Post-Workout Foods
Fruits can serve as a great-tasting source of foods towards post-exercise recovery. A fruit smoothie or whole fruits like banana, grapefruit, berries, and others can help load you up with vitamins, folate, antioxidants, and macronutrients. You also get lots of natural sugars to bring your mood up psychologically following a sweaty workout, after which you lose a certain amount of electrolytes.
Quinoa is arguably the perfect post-workout food. It is high in protein at 24g per cup, high in magnesium and iron, perfect for muscle recovery, and contains a lot of fibre. Quinoa has all nine essential amino acids and is gluten-free, making it easy to digest, with minimal to no bloating.
Oatmeal is an excellent complex carbohydrate and can serve as a base to which you can add all sorts of seeds, fruits, and honey. This is more than just a great-tasting breakfast food. Oatmeal helps replenish the energy you may be low on, and will help bring you back to homeostasis after a particularly gruelling workout.
Don’t forget to hydrate after a workout. Have a large glass (or bottle at hand) of water and keep it coming. Hydration is key to so many systems in the body, including muscle recovery. All the hydration you lost during your workout has to be replenished. As an alternative to water, you may opt for an electrolyte drink that adds back that lost sodium and potassium.
6. Greek Yogurt
A lot of fitness experts avoid dairy. However, Greek yogurt is not something to be avoided. It has plenty of calcium, has 14 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving, and is very low-calorie compared with other dairy products. Plain, non-fat Greek yogurt can be tossed into a shake or eaten with nuts and berries. It’s a super-tasty, pick-me-up.
7. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a very nutrient-dense option. They carry a lot of fibre, complex carbs, potassium, vitamin C, and more. After a workout, eating a sweet potato will quench your bodily carb thirst giving you the nutrients you need to recover and regain optimum health.
8. Fish, Chicken, or Turkey
A protein shake is a quick way to get some protein in after a workout. A healthier method comes via whole food, such as fish, chicken, or turkey. All these protein sources promote muscle repair and growth. They can be prepared beforehand and then simply heated or eaten cold after your training. An alternative is to select these as proteins as a part of your meal plan delivery service if you elect to go that route.
9. Low-Fat Chocolate Milk
Yes, you heard it right. Low-fat chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink. It restores muscle-building potential and replenishes important nutrients and electrolytes lost in sweat. Instead of overspending on workout drinks, low-fat chocolate milk is a more natural, whole beverage and has a similar effect.
10. Tofu Scramble makes for a superb Vegan Post-Workout Food Option
If you are vegan or vegetarian, there are countless options for you to gain high-quality protein. For a tofu scramble; toss some tofu together with almond milk, kale, red peppers, shredded or cut-up sweet potatoes, for starters!
11. Whole Grain Cereal
If you are on a tight schedule or don’t have time to make a proper meal after a workout and/or haven’t done the food prep you wanted to do earlier, as it turns out, a bowl of cereal is an excellent choice. It should be whole-grain cereal. A bowl of whole-grain cereal will do as much for your body, if not more, than many post-workout drinks on the market today.
Avocados are nutrient-dense, and an excellent source of fats. Our body needs fat, but it needs healthy fats. Avocado contains both palatable and digestible fats. If you don’t have avocados around right now, try some coconut oil, flax seeds, and nut butter on whole-wheat toast. Almonds, in particular, are very, very healthy when eaten in moderation.
So there we have it, 12 excellent foods to refuel yourself with, post-workout! Which are your favourite energy-giving foods to eat after exercise? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and KEEP Your Fit ON!