When you workout, what do you do afterward? Do you collapse on the couch? Eat a whole bag of chips? Or do you try to be healthy but have 5 serves of brown rice and tuna because you feel famished and overcompensate? This is where planned post-workout snacks come in. Post-workout snacks are important for your recovery and to help you reach your fitness goals. The idea behind eating is that food is the fuel for your body. You wouldn’t fill your car up with cocoa-cola would you? No, it just wouldn’t function properly! Well, our bodies are the same.
Why are post workout snacks important?
After a workout, you muscles are tired and your tummy might be grumbling. You muscles are depleted. If you don’t feed your body with the right foods after a workout, your muscles will get eaten away and you will be more likely to reach for unhealthy foods later in the day. By feeding your body after you workout, you repair muscles and fill glycogen and protein stores. This will help with weight-loss or achieving the look you want, keeping you well fed so you wont crave sugar later, as well as giving you energy. Are you afraid that having a snack will undo your good work? This is nothing to worry about! The benefit of a snack post-work will far outweigh what you have consumed with the energy it gives. But remember, we are talking about a post workout snack not a post workout buffet, so ladies aim for around 150 calories (if you’re not breast feeding and check with your dietitian or GP to see if this is right for you).
What Should I Include In My Post-Workout Snacks?
When you are planning your post workout snack, think of these two elements: protein and carbohydrates. Carbs? Yes, you heard me! Carbs are great after a workout. They help your body more effectively utilise the amino acids in the protein which helps your muscles recover and assists nutrients to make their way to the muscle cells. Make sure you include complex carbs such as quinoa, brown rice or sweet potato and then pair it with some protein. Protein is also a necessary inclusion in a post workout snack. The protein helps to repair your muscle tissue and can be found in lean meats, eggs, tofu and protein powders. The two of these paired together after a workout like this are sure to help your recovery and help you get the lean toning you are looking for. One other thing to include post-workout is water! Keep up the H2O, this will also do wonders for your body!
Make sure you plan your post-workout snack so you don’t walk in the door and down a packet of biscuits or a whole block of cheese! It would seem like an oxymoron to go the gym and workout to look after your health and then not eat properly afterwards. You don’t want to undo all your hard training by being under prepared.
Post-Workout Snack Ideas & Recipes:
Lost for ideas? Here are a few recipes you can try:
Other post-workout snacks I have regularly include:
- 1-2 tbs of peanut/almond butter on rice cakes
- 1 banana on rice cakes
- Greek yoghurt with berries – I like Chobani plain post-workout because it is packed with protein
- 1 banana with a scoop of protein powder blended in coconut milk
- 1 scoop of protein powder in almond milk
Remember, pre-workout snacks are important too! They fuel your body for an effective workout, giving you the energy boost you need! What do you do for post-workout snacks?