When you workout, you need the right fuel before your workout, but you also need recovery food. I always suggest clients who workout with me in Calgary, Canada, make it a point to have healthy post workout foods. You need to rebuild the glycogen you depleted and have the protein necessary for muscle repair and building new muscle tissue. You also need to replenish your fluid and electrolytes. By planning healthy post-workout snacks, you also ensure you fill that void so you won’t be tempted to stop for a candy bar or other unhealthy snack.
It’s all about intensity and timing.
If you’re pushing yourself and trying to build muscle, timing your intake of food is more important. You need approximately 30-40 grams of carbohydrates and 20-30 grams of protein as soon after your workout as possible. If you’re not pushing it and focusing more on a lighter aerobic workout that’s more for keeping in shape than boosting muscle development, you can wait for approximately an hour after your workout. If it’s close to breakfast, lunch or dinner, just wait for your next meal to eat. Do replenish liquids throughout the workout and afterward, regardless of intensity.
Keep it simple, inexpensive and delicious.
You don’t have to buy a fancy protein shake or eat a protein bar. You can keep it simple with food you may already have in your refrigerator. Make a Greek yogurt parfait with a half a banana, berries or other fruit and nuts. The Greek yogurt and nuts provide the protein, while the banana and berries provide the healthy carbs. It’s easy to digest and rich in nutrition, plus extremely tasty.
An apple and a small container of peanut butter can make a complete snack that’s delicious.
Peanut butter is high in protein and when spread on an apple, makes a tasty treat that will boost your energy and help your body recover. Whether you opt for crunchy peanut butter or plain, just make sure it only contains one ingredient—peanuts. Slice your apple and spread a bit of peanut butter on it and enjoy the delicious crunch that is so refreshing.
- You’ll feel like you’re indulging in forbidden foods when you opt for peanut butter balls made with dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, toasted oatmeal and a bit of honey. Just mix them together and roll into balls. Store in the fridge for a post workout snack.
- Sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients and make a great after-workout snack. You can make a snack of last night’s meal by pairing last night’s chicken and with left over sweet potato wedges.
- Make a quick chicken and tuna salad from leftovers, celery, onion and a little salad dressing. Spread it on whole wheat bread for a delicious snack. You can make the dressing from mashed avocado for some healthy fat.
- You can keep it super simple with food you probably already have in the fridge. Eggs can be turned into egg salad or as a side with whole grain toast. Cottage cheese and fruit, hummus and pita, and milk on oatmeal make easy snacks.
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