Working out is only half of the equation if you’re looking to transform your body to look like a professional mixed martial arts athlete. The things you eat also play a huge role since they provide your body with the nutrients it needs to recover from each workout and repair damaged tissues.
Your post-workout meal is arguably the most important meal when working towards a fitness goal. Studies show providing your body with the nutrients it needs to grow minutes after working out allows you to get more out of your workouts.
There is no such thing as an ideal diet for everyone. What works for some people might not work for you since each person has their unique fitness goals and body type. Are you looking to build muscle? Or are you looking to lose weight? Define your goal clearly when starting a fitness program.
Understanding your body type also makes it easier to create an efficient diet plan. Ectomorphs are people who have a hard time gaining weight and lose weight quickly. These people are typically skinny most of their lives, regardless of their eating habits. Endomorphs are the opposite of ectomorphs. They gain weight easily and struggle to lose weight. Mesomorphs are the third body type; these people are in between ectomorphs and endomorphs. Mesomorphs can easily gain or lose weight. They are often the most athletic people.
Crafting Your Post-Workout Meals
The formula for losing weight couldn’t be more straightforward: you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns daily to force it to use fat for energy. You simply do the opposite if you’re looking to build mass and muscle. You aim to consume more calories than your body uses daily.
The main macronutrients your body needs to perform optimally are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Protein: Your body needs to refuel with proteins to refuel after a workout. You don’t have to consume a full meal to get enough protein in your body. A simple protein-rich snack or a protein shake will suffice. Protein provides the body with the amino acids it needs to repair muscles damaged during workouts and build stronger muscles. Most people need about 0.45 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to ensure their body has all the amino acids they need to repair muscle tissues. You should aim to consume at least 0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight if your goal is to gain mass and build muscle
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates power most of the things you do. Your body converts these foods into glycogen which powers your body at the cellular level. Working out reduces the glycogen stored in your muscles, so aim to replenish it after workouts. Most people only need about 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. The ratio of carbs to protein in your diet should be about 3:1.
- Fat: Most people think of fat as something to avoid in your diet. Fat plays a vital role as a source of backup energy. Healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil can help to lose weight faster. Fats should make up the smallest portion of your diet, but you should not exclude them completely.
Simple Post-Workout Meals
Here are some simple post-workout meals you can incorporate into your fitness routine:
1) Protein Shake With Fruit
Protein shakes are popular with athletes and fitness enthusiasts since it provides your body with the nutrients it needs after a workout. It’s often the most convenient post-workout meal you can incorporate into your routine since it only takes a minute to mix up a shake.
You can get more out of the meal by adding fruits like pineapple and ginger with anti-inflammatory properties. Such fruits help to reduce soreness after exercising.
2) Hardboiled Eggs
A single hardboiled egg provides your body with 7 grams of protein. You only need to eat a few to get all the protein your body needs to recover. Hardboiled eggs are easy to make and store, so you can easily put a few in your gym bag and snack on them after your workout.
3) Apple Slices With Peanut Butter
Spread some peanut butter on a sliced apple, and you have a nutritious post-workout meal. The apple provides your body with carbs and vitamins, while two tablespoons of peanut butter give you eight grams of protein. You can also use butter made from other types of nuts like almonds and cashews.
4) Rice And Chicken
Rice and baked chicken has become cliché with bodybuilders. It gives you lean protein to repair muscles with and carbohydrates to replenish lost glycogen. A cup of chicken gives you about eight grams of lean protein. You can add some vegetables or fruit to round out the meal.
5) Greek Yogurt With Fruit
A Greek yogurt container gives you about 6 grams of carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein, making it an excellent post-workout meal for people looking to lose weight or build muscle. You can add some fruits to it to increase the carbohydrate content.
6) Omelet With Fruit
If you’re getting tired of hardboiled eggs, you can switch things up and get your post-workout proteins from an egg, cheese, and milk omelet instead. Feel free to add any lean proteins you have into the omelet, like turkey, chicken, or beef bits. Enjoy your omelet with a slice of wholegrain bread to replenish your energy levels after a workout.
7) Wholegrain Tortilla With Chicken
Chicken tortillas also work as a post-workout meal. A couple of cups of chicken gets you over 16 grams of protein, and a wholegrain tortilla infuses your body with rich carbs. You can add vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and avocado to replenish vitamins and fats.
8) Chocolate Milk
If you’ve run out of protein shakes, you can substitute them with chocolate milk. It gives you a 4:1 carb to protein ratio, and it helps to rebuild muscle and restore glycogen levels. Chocolate milk also provides B-vitamins, which help to speed up recovery after exercise.
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