As tempting as it may be to reach for a snack or gorge down a fast food meal after a workout, what you don’t realize is all that hard work you just put in could go down the drain. Sure, you’ll get instant gratification, but your body won’t be too grateful for long.
Research shows that instead of indulging in a large meal after training, you should opt for a healthy snack instead. To get the maximum benefits and recover better for your next workout, you should consume a healthy snack within 30 minutes after your workout. The American Dietetic Association recommends consuming 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight to allow for maximum replenishment of glycogen stores and 10-20 grams of lean protein to repair muscle tissue.
Today, Evolve Daily shares what you should eat after training for maximum recovery:
As ironic as it sounds, the best recovery foods after a tough 90-minute workout session are carbohydrates that are easily digested and synthesized by the body. Potatoes, white rice, and white bread are high in glycogen and should only be consumed after working out. Remember, these should be consumed in moderation.
Lean protein gives muscles the boost they need to recover. Combined with carbohydrate consumption after a workout, proteins help build and restore muscle damage sustained during exercise. Consuming protein right after training will ensure that your body doesn’t use its own muscle tissue for energy.
3) Greek yogurt with fruit
Greek yogurt is rich in protein, which helps build up the amino acids that are depleted during exercise. It is the perfect companion to any fruit and is easily accessible, making it one of the best snacks to have after working out. If you find Greek yogurt too sour, you can add berries or manuka honey for extra carbohydrates.
4) An apple slice with peanut butter
A great way to satisfy both your sweet tooth and post-workout nutritional needs, an apple slice with peanut butter is delicious and incredibly nutritious. A little under 150 calories, this post workout snack gives you that dose of energy you need without going overboard.
5) Low-fat chocolate milk
If you’re looking for a quick fix, a glass of ice-cold low-fat chocolate milk is your best bet. Drinking a glass of chocolate milk will bring back comforting memories of your childhood while repairing and restoring muscle tissue at the same time. Studies show that chocolate milk is perfect for athletes who need to sustain a level of performance such as long distance runners or triathletes. Chocolate milk also keeps your bones healthy with calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. The B-complex vitamins that it has helps convert food into energy.
6) Tuna with whole wheat crackers
Tuna (opt for tuna in water rather than olive oil) is rich in omega-3s, which is also known to boost brainpower and prevent heart disease. Just pack on the tuna on a whole wheat cracker for a perfect combination of protein and carbs. BONUS: If you’re trying to lose weight, this is a great option for you. A snack of tuna with whole wheat crackers shouldn’t rack in more than 220 calories!
7) A protein shake with banana
Many athletes prefer protein shakes after a tough workout. After all, they’re easy to make and filled with all the protein their muscles need for repair. Simply add 2 scoops of protein powder and ½ a banana to your shake and you’re set! If you’re worried about making that short 30-minute window you have after training, a protein shake is your best bet.
Remember, a hard workout doesn’t warrant an indulgent meal. To reach your fitness goals, you must always maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Although refueling after a workout may be tricky, hopefully our suggestions will help you make smarter choices when it comes to post-workout nutrition. So tell us, which of these snacks will you choose today?