What do you do after an intense sweat session? Post-workout, athletes tend to shower, change, then grab a bite to eat. This is a good thing, since it is beneficial to eat 30-60 minutes after a workout in order to efficiently recover. However, not every food optimizes recovery. Grabbing a candy bar after a lifting session, for example, will not do much to help your body.
So what should you be eating after a workout? The fact is, recovery all comes down to protein and carbohydrates. Both give your body helpful nutrients to absorb, and replace all that was broken down during exercise. Here are five examples of food you should be eating as post-workout snacks:
I know what you’re thinking. Pineapple? Really? The truth is, we do not normally think of fruit as being loaded with carbohydrates but they are carbohydrate-packed. They also have specific enzymes that help the body transfer nutrients from food to muscles. Pineapple in particular is a good post-workout snack because it has all the benefits of fruit with the addition of anti-inflammatory effects to help your muscles recover more quickly.
This may go without saying, but eggs are packed with protein. Hard-boiled or in omelette or scrambled form, they are a perfect way to help your muscles recover. If you want to go the extra mile for your body, consider eating the eggs with vegetables. You will not only get a necessary protein kick, you’ll also introduce extra vitamins into your recovering body.
Greek yogurt is a perfect post-workout snack because it has both protein and carbohydrates. It is superior to regular yogurt in that it contains twice the protein that your muscles need. For some extra nutrients, and a taste kick, add some fruit to your yogurt for a double-whammy recovery snack.
Whole Grain Cereal
Can you say carbohydrates? Whole grain cereal and milk after a workout will give you a little bit of protein and a lot of necessary carbohydrates. Try to eat a type of cereal without a lot of sugar, because the sugar will delay your progress. Your muscles will thank you.
A more unconventional grain, quinoa contains a ton of vitamins and nutrients, and also a fair amount of protein. It will give you the carbohydrate and protein kick your body needs, and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Remember to add in some vegetables for extra vitamins!