We all know the first stage to better fitness is actually getting up and moving. For many of you, that step came when you decided to step into the martial arts gym and change your life. But working out is only half of the equation. The other half is what we fuel our bodies with.
That’s right — it’s all about proper nutrition. It’s time to talk about what we consume, particularly after a hard training session.
With all the effort you put into your training, it’s normal to feel pretty ravenous afterwards. But before you even think about heading to your favorite fast food join or restaurant, maybe it’s best if you reconsidered what could be good for your body.
When deciding what to get your hands on after training, look out for foods that are easily digested and absorbed by the body. It’s a good idea to lean towards whole foods that are packed with micronutrients that can heal, repair and reinvigorate your body, especially after a strenuous martial arts class.
Keeping your post-workout meal balanced is the key to success. Having various wholesome food from all the different food groups will help repair torn or overworked muscles. The body benefits from consuming the proper combination of protein, vitamins, and minerals and also complex carbohydrates.
Protein as we all know it helps repair and support muscle growth. Carbohydrates are used by the body to help it recover faster. While fats are also great for replenishing the body. The idea here is to have a little of everything, and not too much of one thing.
When you eat matters too. Some studies have found that eating after a workout is optimum for the body as the glycogen stores have started to deplete as soon as you started working out. Your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise. After your training, your body’s ability to build up glycogen is improved. Some experts suggest that you try to eat within 45 minutes after your training.
But what should you have? Here are a few ideas.
Today, Evolve Daily shares six of the best post-training foods to enjoy to get the best out of recovery.
1) Chocolate Milk
There’s a certain nostalgia we feel when we have a glass of chocolate milk. It was our go-to beverage as kids and now we are reaching out for it because not only is it delicious and decadent, but it also boasts of having the perfect ratio of carbohydrates to protein. According to recent findings, athletes who had a serving of chocolate milk after a workout enjoyed a faster recovery.
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Of course, sugary drinks are detrimental to your health. But having a glass of chocolate milk every once in a while after training isn’t such a bad idea if you don’t overdo it. It is much healthier than other sugary sports drinks.
Who doesn’t love chocolate milk?
Eggs are an excellent choice for a post workout snack or to be enjoyed together with a meal. They are high in protein and also an amazing source of many essential nutrients that nourish and repair your body after working out.
One medium-sized egg has six grams of protein which fulfills 15% of your daily protein allowance. Not to mention, eggs also have amino acids that play an important role in protein digestion and absorption. They also contain selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.
They are also as inexpensive as it gets and are readily available anywhere. You can also have eggs in many different ways. There are loads of varied recipes that you can try that involves just eggs.
3) Greek Yogurt
With just one serving of this very versatile treat, you already get a whopping 20 grams of protein.
According to studies, consuming a cup of greek yogurt can help fight muscle inflammation caused by a strenuous workout. For added flavor and benefits, you can even add berries that are also rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, which improves bone health and is essential to those actively training in the gym. It also helps lower blood pressure, and lower the risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes.
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Not only that, but Greek yogurt is absolutely delicious and can be prepared in so many different ways or integrated into various meals and recipes.
4) Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with wholesome carbohydrates to help the body replenish and fully recover after a hard day of training. It also helps keep your body’s defenses on a high since eating food rich in complex carbohydrates can help boost the body’s immunity.
Since the body breaks down muscle glycogen during intense workouts, you will need the right kind of carbs if you want to keep up in your training because you will need all the energy you can get.
You know another thing that your body needs? Fiber — and sweet potatoes are rich in fiber that keeps you satiated for a long time. It is also so easy to prepare and also versatile. You can roast them or boil them and even fry them, the ideas are endless.
Monounsaturated fat is one of the key nutrients our favorite brunch food has. Don’t be alarmed by the word “fat”, this is the good kind of fat.
Avocados give you monounsaturated fat for repairing muscle and joints. It also has B vitamins which is essential to your metabolism. Avocados can be enjoyed in almost every way imaginable and you can even eat them plain or raw.
Avocados are also a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The amount of nutrients in an avocado cannot be overstated. It’s as healthy and delicious as can get for a post-training snack.
And who doesn’t love guacamole?
Last but certainly not least, and not to be overlooked, is water. It’s technically not just a post-training food, but it’s important nonetheless.
Have you ever felt sick and dizzy after a workout? It might be due to dehydration and that is why it is essential to drink plenty of water not only after a workout but also before and during your training.
While it is tempting to grab a sports drink, these contain lots of sugar that is really not good by any standard. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with water. Water is essential to great gut health and good digestion. So make sure you stay plenty hydrated with that good old H2O.
Keeping yourself hydrated is important because the body loses water and electrolytes through perspiration. Drinking water during and after a workout helps boost your performance and assists in recovery.
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