Australia’s Department of Health recommends getting five to seven hours of physical exercise each week. Even if you’ve been hitting your workout goals, do you know what to eat after a workout?
Getting the right amount of nutrients after exercise is important for rebuilding muscle. If you’ve been wondering what to eat after you’re finished sweating, read on for a complete guide on the best post-workout snacks.
Why Your Post-Workout Snack Is Important
For many of us, the hardest part about fitness is completing the workout itself. Although working out is an accomplishment all on its own, there’s more work to do even after you’ve left the gym.
You might not realize, but your post-workout snack is an essential part of exercising. Why does it play such an important part?
During a workout, your muscles are using up their glycogen energy stores. Muscle fibres are torn and must undergo a process to rebuild and get stronger.
The key to helping your muscles rebuild is getting the right amount of nutrients from your carbs, fats, and proteins. This is what helps speed up the recovery process and rebuild your muscles’ glycogen stores and proteins. It can also boost the growth of new muscle.
Why Carbs, Proteins, and Fats?
What’s so beneficial about carbs, proteins, and fats? If you’re planning on working hard at the gym, then it’s important to know what each food has to offer. This is because different types of workouts will require different workout recovery foods.
Individuals who do a lot of endurance workouts, like running or cycling, will need plenty of post-workout carbs to refuel their bodies. Others who focus on strength training will want to focus on getting a protein-filled snack to support muscle regrowth.
Understanding what your body needs to repair itself after a tough workout is an important step. The right amounts of nutrients will boost you on your road to wellness.
What to Eat After a Workout
Now that you know what type of fuel your body needs, how do you get it and how much do you need? Many athletes reach for protein bars or protein shakes after workouts because it’s convenient. Others prefer cooking up a light meal to get the macronutrients they need.
Your weight, height, and fitness goals will help you determine how much protein, carbs, and fats you need. Here are ten easy snacks to try after you’re done sweating.
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1. Cooked Oats with Fruit
Oats are a great source of healthy carbohydrates and are extremely easy to prepare. Cook up a bowl after a long endurance workout to refuel your body on the nutrients it needs. Top with mixed fruit or nuts for extra flavour
Just remember that some flavoured oatmeal has a lot of added sugar. Try to avoid this type an opt for steel-cut oats or plain rolled oats.
Eggs are one of the best post-workout meals for muscle gain because they’re high in protein and easy to make. Eat them on their own or layer a poached egg onto whole-wheat toast.
3. Tofu Scramble with Veggies
This snack idea is more labour-intensive than others, but it’s well worth the investment. Tofu is a great source of protein and minerals. It makes an easy solution for plant-based diets.
Mix it up with some dark, leafy green veggies for a boost in vitamins and fibre. You’ll feel refuelled and it won’t sit heavy in your stomach after a workout.
4. Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is considered a “superfood” by some health experts due to its high percentage of nutrients. It’s a grain that makes a great source of carbohydrates if you’re feeling tired of bread or rice. Toss it into a salad with spinach and tomatoes for a complete meal.
5. Protein Powder
If you’re in a hurry after your workout, a simple way to get protein is to mix up a protein shake. You can buy protein powders that are whey or plant-based. They even come in flavours like chocolate or vanilla, making it a tasty and fun treat.
6. Greek Yoghurt or Cottage Cheese
These are both protein-rich snacks that are easy to grab and go. Try buying nonfat cottage cheese or plain greek yoghurt without added sugars.
7. Avocado (or Tuna) on Toast
Whether you’re looking for healthy fats or protein, avocado and tuna on toast make an easy and delicious post-workout snack. Opt for whole-grain bread to boost your protein and fibre intake.
8. Nut Butters
Nut butters are a simple option for giving your body the protein it needs to rebuild muscles. You can spread it on toast, fruit, or eat it straight from the spoon.
9. Trail Mix
Nuts are packed with healthy fats and protein, and can even help you lose weight. A nutty trail mix makes a great post-workout snack– as long as you choose a healthy mix. Stir together almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, and seeds to snack on while you head home from the gym.
10. Pita and Hummus
This is another great post-workout snack that’s plant-based and easy to make. Hummus is a good source of plant protein and fibre, which are two things your body needs.
Post-Workout Tips and Tricks
While you’re enjoying your tasty post-workout snack, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Water plays a key role in replenishing fluids and electrolytes lost from sweating.
You should also avoid excess sugar and remember that post-workout meals aren’t an excuse to over-indulge. Fuel your body well, and it will thank you.
Not sure how to begin your health journey? Don’t worry! Remember that any amount of exercise is good for your body. Scientists have found that even walking can boost your overall health.
Be Fueled and Get Fit
Taking the time to eat a nutrient-packed snack after your workouts will improve your recovery. If you ever wonder what to eat after a workout, just remember to focus on proteins, carbs, and healthy fats.
Looking for more ways to improve your fitness? Check out these yoga poses for boosting your core strength.