Getting the right fuel before a workout is important. It can keep you going at peak performance until the end. However, you have to choose the right foods to eat after a workout, too. You need fuel to repair muscles and replenish the muscle glycogen you depleted during your workout. Consuming the right type of food after you workout can replenish the muscle glycogen that you depleted when you were exercising. It also helps boost protein synthesis, which helps repair and build new muscle tissue, while restoring fluid and electrolyte balance.
You need both carbohydrates and protein.
After you workout, you need the quick energy of a carbohydrate, plus protein to rebuild muscles. Try to eat as soon as possible after your workout if you had a tough session. The snack should consist of 20-30 grams of protein and 30-40 grams of carbohydrates. You can wait longer and just eat a well-balanced meal if your workout was lighter, like jogging.
Some good options after a workout can be simple.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and that makes a hard-boiled egg and easy choice. It comes in its own container, so just peel it, slice it and put it between two slices of whole wheat bread or on crackers. Slices of cheese on crackers or chicken breast on whole wheat are two other options. Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit chopped in it is another good option. The fruit is the carbs and the yogurt is the protein.
Other simply to carry options for a post workout snack can include peanut butter and apples.
Peanut butter is a great source of protein, but make sure you opt for the natural peanut butter. It only has one ingredient and that’s peanuts, although some may have salt in it as well. As noted before, other protein sources include Greek yogurt and cheese. Tuna and chicken breasts are also good choices. The carbohydrate part of the mix can be whole grain bread or crackers, fresh fruit or vegetables. Roasted sweet potato slices with a yogurt dip also make a good after workout snack.
If you’re working out at home or have access to a freezer, a frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate, then rolled in crushed walnuts not only provides both protein and carbs, it also acts like a natural anti-inflammatory.
Make a healthy, easy to transport tuna salad. Just use tuna, onions, celery and dressing made from mayo, Greek yogurt and mustard. Mix and put on one slice of whole grain toast after a tough workout.
No matter how tempting it may seem, deep-fried wings and other similar types of protein won’t do. You need a healthy source, like baked chicken breast or other lean meat.
What could be easier than a bottle or container of chocolate milk after a workout. It offers two times as much carbs and protein as sports drinks. It also helps replace the sweat you lost during your workout and offers even more nutrients.