After Your Workout, Eat This!
You finish out your workout feeling tanked: heart racing, sweat dripping, muscles aching, and lungs working hard. Congrats! That means you got a great workout in!
Guess what? Now comes the fun part: you get to reward yourself with a treat. No, I’m not just talking about stuffing your face with food and undoing all of the hard work you just did. I’m talking about post-workout foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to recover and build muscle:
- Chocolate Milk: I’m not kidding! You might be thinking that chocolate milk would be a step in the wrong direction, away from healthy eating habits, but it’s actually one of the absolute best foods to eat after a workout. With this tasty drink, your body gets fluids, carbs, protein, calcium, and healthy fats. Experts say it’s even better than Gatorade!
- Avocado: After working out, your body needs healthy fats to help it heal joints and muscles. Avocados have loads of monounsaturated fat, plus B vitamins that will bump up your metabolism. Spoon it out straight into your mouth or work it into your post-workout smoothie – your pick!
- Eggs: Eggs got a bad rap for a few years there, but now we know they are actually an awesome food for our bodies. Each egg boasts omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and all nine essential amino acids to help your body repair muscle damage and get protein, all at just 70 calories. Throw some on whole-grain toast and you’ve got a portable, nutritious post-workout snack.
It’s important to eat after a workout, but it’s also important to eat food that will give your body what it needs to heal. The next time you’re stumped for a post-workout snack, give one of these options a try!
The Science Behind Post-Workout Nutrition
Understanding the science behind post-workout nutrition is key. The experts at Healthline.com explain it well:
“When you're working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged.”
They recommend eating carbohydrates and protein together (at a 3:1 ratio) within 45 minutes of working out. Note that if you ate a healthy combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat before working out, you will need less afterward. Learn more about what to eat before you work out. (add a link to our blog post on this topic.)
One of the most important things you can do after a workout is to replenish the fluids, sodium, and potassium you lost during exercise as soon as possible. Great post-workout drink options include:
- Coconut Water
- Protein smoothie
During and after a workout, avoid drinking soft drinks, energy drinks (like Red Bull) and other high caffeine diuretics that can lead to dehydration instead of helping you re-hydrate.
Related Creative Snacks Products
Looking for quick snacks packed with protein, carbohydrates, and fats for convenient fuel after your workout? Check out these convenient Creative Snacks products: