Ready to sweat? Not so fast! Here, the best foods to eat after a workout, so you can fuel up the right way. Munch on these for your best sweat session yet. When it comes to fitness, there are certain universal questions that experts hear almost every day: How can I get the most out of my workouts? How can I lose weight faster, burn the most calories, and feel energized enough to power through every training session? While there are other elements that may affect your unique situation, there’s one simple answer that applies to all of these questions: Eat! More specifically, eat the right foods at the right time. Your muscles rely on carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables for quick energy. You need protein for your muscles and for your blood cells, which bring nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. You also need fluids, or your body will have a hard time performing at its best.
What to Eat After Your Workout
According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine, consuming protein and a little carbohydrate is best immediately after exercise. Here are the foods you need to eat after training sessions to help speed up recovery, maximize exercise benefits, and help maintain lean muscle to aid in weight loss.
– Protein shake made with half of a banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk, and hemp seeds (excellent protein source)
– Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil and vinegar
– Sautéed or steamed vegetables (1 cup) with non-GMO tofu (1/2 cup)
– Quinoa bowl (1 cup) with black berries (1 cup) and pecans (1/4 cup)
– Multi-grain bread (2 slices) with raw peanut butter (2 tablespoons) and agave nectar
– Burrito with beans (1/2 cup), brown rice (1/2 cup), guacamole (2 tablespoons), and salsa.
– And that’s not all folks. It has been known that Greek yogurt has double the amount of protein compared to regular yogurt and is a great source of carbohydrates. Mix it with cereal or fruit, recommends Dr. Louise Burke, head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of The Complete Guide to Food for Sports Performance: Peak Nutrition for Your Sport. Fresh berries pack micronutrients, which have been proven to help fight muscle soreness.
– Fruit salads are not only loaded with carbohydrates, they also contain enzymes to help your body break down nutrients so they can be delivered to your tired muscles. Pineapple is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties to help your muscles recover. Kiwi aids with digestion and helps break down amino acids.
– Wholegrain breakfast cereal. Cereal is good any time of day: In the morning for breakfast or later in the day as a snack. Select a high protein, high fiber cereal, like Kashi Golean, which offers 30 grams of carbohydrates, 13 gram of protein and 10 grams of fiber. It’s perfect for reloading the muscle energy stores. Make it more of a substantial snack and add dairy—milk or yogurt. If you’re just trying to stay in shape or shed a few pounds, you can take your time and eat within 45 minutes or an hour after your workout.